Debate on Coal Bill Exposes Split Among Democrats

By: AP
By: AP

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ A debate over two proposed coal-fired power plants in southwest Kansas appears to have exposed a split among Governor Sebelius' fellow Democrats.

The split is focusing attention on the compelling -- but unsettling -- question for the party of who will be the next governor.

Sebelius vetoed a bill allowing the coal-fired plants. A new House bill drafted in response seems likely to meet the same fate.

Lieutenant Governor Mark Parkinson has been the administration's spokesman for her position.

A majority of Democratic legislators also opposed the bill Sebelius vetoed, but one supporter was House Minority Leader Dennis McKinney, a Greensburg Democrat who's often a reliable ally of hers.

The state constitution prevents Sebelius from seeking a third term in 2010. Parkinson and McKinney are the two most obvious potential gubernatorial nominees.

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