Small gathering turns out for final Legislative Dialogue Featured

From left to right: Rep. Mark Schreiber (R-Emporia), Sen. Jeff Longbine (R-Emporia) and Eric Smith (R-Burlington). From left to right: Rep. Mark Schreiber (R-Emporia), Sen. Jeff Longbine (R-Emporia) and Eric Smith (R-Burlington). Photo by Brandon Peoples/KVOE News.

Local lawmakers didn't let a little weather stop them from holding their final dialogue of the Legislative session Monday hosted by the League of Women Voters and the Chamber of Commerce Government Matters Committee.

Senate Vice President Jeff Longbine and 60th District Representative Mark Schreiber of Emporia were joined by 76th District Representative Eric Smith of Burlington. The three lawmakers spoke to a crowd of eight people on the Legislature's addition of $525 million over the next five years to K-12 education funding, the passage of the budget and lauded early revenues coming in higher than projected.

Overall, Sen. Longbine says the session was notable for helping get the state's finances back in order.

Rep. Schreiber says another key point of this year's session was an increased effort on creating more transparency as all committee hearings, bill introductions and other hearings are live-streamed on the state's website.

Lawmakers also took time to weigh in on the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling Monday to clear states to allow sports betting through policies and regulations. Lawmakers were presented with a bill this session that would've introduced such policy in Kansas, but Rep. Smith says any action in the future must be approached with caution.

Longbine says there are several questions to be answered with any type of gaming bill.

Rep. Schreiber says he fully expects another bill to come up during next year's session.

One bill that didn't pass that Rep. Smith says he would've like to see get passed was a tax reform bill.

All three lawmakers believe there will be a debate on a sports gaming bill in 2019, but aren't sure whether at this point any bill would gain enough steam for passage by the end of the session.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 15 May 2018 09:25

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