Letter to the editor: Support Hensley and ask for change (The Topeka Capital-Journal)

Support Hensley and ask for change

In a recent opinion piece, Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley reported that two individuals — Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle and her righthand man Sen. Jim Henning — have effectively decided the fate of proposed Medicaid expansion in Kansas. Senate rules allow majority party leadership to decide which bills get debated and voted upon and which do not.

On May 1, Sen. Hensley plans to initiate the only way out of this outrageous situation. If 24 of the 40 elected senators support Hensley’s proposed bid to allow debate and vote on this issue, the decision by the two leaders will be overridden. Sen. Hensley asks us to contact our senators and urge support for his proposed action.

This is not a unique situation. According to House and Senate rules, once a bill is introduced, it is forwarded to a House or Senate committee for consideration. However, current rules allow committee chairs (appointed by their party leaders) to decide whether or not to bring up a bill for debate and action by the committee. If not considered by a committee, the bill is all but dead. How can one or two persons hold such power?

When you contact your senator to urge action on Sen. Hensley’s proposed rescue of the Medicaid expansion issue on May 1, please insist that state legislators also need to get busy revising their rules to at least have the appearance of being democratic.

We deserve better than where the rules have us now.

 

This article was originally published on The Topeka Capital-Journal website, here.