In a recent Opinion piece which appeared in the Topeka Capital-Journal, Senator Anthony Hensley reported that two individuals, Kansas Senate President, Susan Wagle, and her right hand man, Senator Jim Henning, have effectively decided the fate of proposed Medicaid expansion in Kansas.
They refuse to move the bill out of committee to the Senate floor for debate and a vote.
Senate rules allow majority party leadership to do this, even to squelch debate!
On May 1, Senator Hensley plans to initiate the only way out of this outrageous situation.
If 24 of our 40 elected Senators support Hensley’s proposed bid to allow debate and vote on this issue, the decision by the two leaders will be overridden.
Senator Hensley asks us to contact our Senators and urge support for his proposed action.
Voters may or may not be aware that this is not a unique situation.
According to House and Senate rules, once a bill is introduced, it is forwarded to a House or Senate committee for consideration.
However, current rules allow Committee Chairs (appointed by majority party leaders) to decide whether or not to bring up a bill for debate and action by the Committee.
If not considered by a committee, the bill is all but dead.
And this is a common occurrence in the Kansas Legislature.
How can one or two persons wield such power over voters and their representatives?
When you contact your Senator to urge action on Senator Hensley’s proposed rescue of the Medicaid expansion issue on May 1, please insist that state legislators also get busy revising their rules to at least have the appearance of being democratic.
We deserve better than where the rules have us now.