Last Friday marked the critical deadline for the 2021 Kansas Legislature known as “turnaround,” which marks the official halfway point for this year’s legislative session. It could also be the point of no return because after turnaround, with a few exceptions, a bill must have passed its Chamber of origin (House or Senate) in order to be considered by the other Chamber before the session is over for the year.
The Senate was busy debating, voting on and passing 89 bills last week ahead of the deadline, while the House passed 63. The Legislature took a break until Wednesday to give clerical staff time to process the resulting paperwork.
Local town hall meetings with legislators used to be quite common. The Great Bend Chamber of Commerce typically hosted four “Legislative Coffees” per year although they were sometimes canceled (and not rescheduled) if the weather was bad. But with COVID-19 and the curtailment of public meetings, our state senators and representatives haven’t often been invited to the traditional meetings.
This Saturday, however, the Great Bend Chamber will host an online Legislative Hour. (Hutchinson Regional Medical Center is sponsoring the program.) They’ve invited Senator Alicia Straub and Representatives Troy Waymaster, Tory Arnberger and Brett Fairchild.
Join the one-hour Zoom format discussion at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 13, online at https://us02web.zoom.us using Meeting ID: 842 1584 2616, Passcode: 210161. Registration is not required. (For additional assistance on how to attend the virtual legislative hour, call the chamber, 620-792-2401, visit the Events Calendar at greatbend.org, or the Facebook Event (@gbcoc).
Each legislator will give a brief update, which will leave a few minutes for the attendees to ask questions or comment about current issues. Questions can be submitted ahead of time by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about what is happening in the Legislature and to make your preferences known on the issues.