Little movement for lawmakers

State News

February 21, 2019 - 10:39 AM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s election created a national buzz about a possible shift to the left in Kansas politics, but many Republicans remain unimpressed and feel little pressure to take up her big initiatives.

The GOP-dominated Legislature has yet to have committee hearings on her plan to expand the state’s Medicaid health coverage for the needy. It has ignored her call to approve an increase in public school funding by the end of this month. A key part of her budget already appears dead. Top Republicans are pursuing a tax relief bill she considers fiscally reckless.

She and other Democrats believe her victory represented a repudiation of Republican predecessors’ policies. Three current lawmakers from the Kansas City area, where Kelly ran especially well, switched to the Democratic Party in December, drawing even more attention to what had been seen as a reliably red state.

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