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Mast offers thoughts on 2014 legislative session to date

Aside from some blowback on policy issues attached to a wide-ranging education funding bill earlier this month, Emporia Rep. Peggy Mast is pleased with how the legislative session has gone so far.

Lawmakers are on break between the regular session and the veto session, which begins Wednesday, and Mast joined the KVOE Morning Show to give a status report.

Mast says the education funding bill, the centerpiece of this session, should meet the Kansas Supreme Court mandate on equitable funding. She also says teachers who believe due process is being eliminated as a result of the bill is somewhat inaccurate because there is an option in case of constitutional concerns, and a tax credit for parents of students not attending public schools is more of an investment in failing schools. Mast says lawmakers felt a sense of urgency to pass the bill.

Finalizing the overall budget is the main piece of business remaining.

Mast, the Speaker Pro Tem, is currently running against LeRoy Republican Jeff Freeman for the 76th District House seat, with independent Bill Otto and Democrat Teresa Briggs also in the race. Mast has served nine terms in the House and is quoted in the Coffey County Republican as saying she is withdrawing during an elected official breakfast. She tells KVOE News she has been in discussions with an unspecified candidate to take her place before she formally withdraws.

Veto session previews continue next week. Emporia Sen. Jeff Longbine joins the Morning Show at 8:30 am Tuesday.

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