Kansas lawmakers pass raft of bills before deadline

Kansas legislators have reached the midpoint of their annual session having advanced gun-rights and teacher collective bargaining proposals but having left measures to legalize medical marijuana, expand the Medicaid program and restrict fracking to languish.

Most bills had to be passed out of their chamber of origin be automatically discarded after Friday’s “turnaround” deadline.

House Speaker Ray Merrick, a Stilwell Republican, said in a statement Thursday that he was pleased with the chamber’s work to pass 35 bills over the three day period leading up to the deadline.

The Senate passed 60 bills in the two days before the deadline – half of them in a nearly nine hour session that stretched from the Thursday afternoon to just before midnight.