Kansas legislators join for bipartisan civil discourse workshop

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- About half of Kansas' legislators took a break from the Statehouse for a bipartisan civil discourse workshop.

This is the first time the 'Next Generation' program held the workshop for Kansas lawmakers.

Sixteen other states have participated.

The workshop is designed to improve conversation and collaboration, as well as increase bipartisanship and trust.

Lawmakers were invited to share their personal journeys and find areas of common interest across party lines.

Democratic Senator, Tom Hawk, representing Manhattan said, "I saw our commitment from the group that we want to be able to work better together and even though there's a polarization politically in our country, we can choose to do that differently."

Elaine Bowers, Republican Senator representing Concordia, said , "I learned that we're mentors already and we could be mentors in the future. How we work together and our values as role models need to be shining, so people understand what we do in this job, but also how we treat each other."

The lawmakers left the workshop Friday with an action plan they created based on specific needs in the Kansas legislature.