Topeka Senator Anthony Hensley was joined by fellow Democrat lawmakers in accusing House GOP leaders of holding priority items "hostage" in exchange for passage of a bill allowing coal-fired plants in Holcomb.
Hensley says House Speaker Melvin Neufeld in particular, is consumed by the coal issue. Hensley and his group told reporters items like cost of living increases for Kansas' retired employees.. and comprehensive health reform.. are being pushed aside by House Bill 2412. They say Neufeld has tossed the coal plant issue into the HB, which pushes its total to three legislative items, generally not accepted in legislative circles.
Senator Hensley also says important economic development legislation which could be promoted by Topeka legislators and could stand on its own merits, might be bundled together into a bill that Neufeld could defeat "with the stroke of his pen." Hensley is pushing a separate Senate bill which boosts the job training contained in the Commerce Department's IMPACT program.