If you followed the final days of our legislative session before our first adjournment, you witnessed politics at its “finest” and I say that with the utmost sarcasm. In a non-budget year, Kansas statute dictates that the legislature completes its work in 90 calendar days. Saturday, April 7th was our 90th day and our work was far from done. In a normal political environment, the process would have included a joint resolution between the House and Senate to extend our session to allow time to reconcile competing bills and work through a normal veto session. But, this is not a normal political environment. Consequently, our work on April 7th was fraught with last minute wrangling, political maneuvering and what I like to call “post-card politics,” as we raced the clock. Without a joint resolution by midnight on April 7th, all bills that had been worked and not signed by the Governor would go up in a flash of smoke and we would have to start all over again. All of this played out while over 650 teachers lined the halls of the 3rd floor of the capitol, listening to the Senate debate their future.
As we begin the last scheduled week before our April adjournment, the shenanigans are in full bloom even if the tulips are not. We know we have only two big issues to resolve (school funding and the budget) and frustration levels are already high. On Monday, we debated HB 2445, a bill that attempts to address the school funding issue and satisfy the courts.
Joy has blogged extensively about her experience and activities during the legislative session.