Governor Reacts To Legislative Session '08

By: Brian Dorman Email
By: Brian Dorman Email

“This session is the most difficult session I have had as my years as governor,” Kathleen Sebelius said in press conference Thursday morning.

The Governor is frustrated with legislative leaders but not enough to jump into leadership races this year. Sebelius says she plans to stay away from those contests.

All 40 senators and 125 House members face elections this year. After voters decide who to put in office, those officeholders will meet to decide who will lead the Legislature.

That means House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, an Ingalls Republican,
and Senate President Steve Morris, a Hugoton Republican, will have
to persuade colleagues to retain them.

The governor formerly served in the House. She said during a
news conference that leadership races are complicated and based on
personal relationship and that she believes she should keep out
of them.

The The legislative leaders decided that either tackling a legitimate smoking ban which costs nothing but has a huge positive impact on health and tackling a cigarette tax which provides a string of revenue for health reform was just too had, so they didn’t do it and that’s really unfortunate.”

The house has passed the bill on coal plants but a veto looms.

“This bill contains more than one subject, that is clearly prohibited by the constitution. We are going to look at it, have lawyers look at it but at the end of the day I think it was one more bad choice made,” said the Governor. “I haven’t even seen the bill yet. I don’t have the bill yet. Most of what’s in the bill I’ve seen in bits and pieces, we will take a look at it, a close look at it.”

Sebelius has rejected two previous bills allowing the plants and limiting the power of the regulator who blocked their construction. The Governor is expected to veto this bill as well.

The House approved the bill on a 76-48 vote. The Senate approved it 24-10. Supporters tied the plants to economic development projects. They called their latest measure the "Economic Stimulus Act of 2008."

But the measure appears to have little chance of becoming law. The vote in the House left supporters eight votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto.


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