Topeka Kansas law to protect endangered species is endangered.
A Senate committee voted to repeal the 1975 law that puts the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism in charge of identifying and undertaking appropriate conservation measures for endangered species.
"It has been costing a lot of people across the state economic development," said Senate Natural Resources Committee Chairman Larry Powell, R-Garden City.
At first, the committee was considering a bill that would have removed two snakes — the redbelly and smooth earth — from state protection.
Both nonvenomous snakes are listed as threatened species under state law, not federal law. While the snakes are common in many Midwestern states, they are scarce in Kansas.
Johnson County officials have complained that the snakes have held up some development.
But Powell inserted an amendment that repealed the entire state law and placed the contents of the bill into an already-approved House bill.
Sen. Marci Francisco, of Lawrence, the ranking Democrat on the committee, opposed the move, saying that now the public will not be able to provide input on the implications of the proposal.