O'Neal Retires As Kansas Legislature Ends

By: AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Kansas House Speaker Mike O'Neal is retiring from office.

O'Neal, a Hutchinson Republican, announced his retirement Friday as legislators gathered for the legislature's formal end. He was first elected in 1984.

The House and Senate adjourned the regular session May 20. Friday's Sine Die proceedings also saw Lorene Bethell sworn in to finish out the term of her husband, Rep. Bob Bethell, who was killed in an auto accident on I-70 outside Topeka headed home after adjournment.

In the Senate, Wichita Sen. Susan Wagle revealed to her colleagues that she is undergoing cancer treatment. Wagle previously battled cancer in the mid-90s, while serving in the Kansas House.

This year's regular session produced changes in Kansas tax policies and the pension program for state workers.

But the Legislature failed to carry out one of the year's major tasks _ drawing new boundaries for districts of the Kansas House and Senate, the State Board of Education and the four congressional districts.

The job of drawing new maps is now in the hands of a three-judge federal panel in Kansas City, Kan., which concluded on Wednesday.

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