Resumption of legislative session delayed because of pandemic

Legislative leaders on Wednesday agreed to postpone the resumption of the 2020 legislative session because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The wrap up session was scheduled to start Monday, but the Legislative Coordinating Council unanimously approved postponing the session to a date to be set by the LCC at a meeting that will be called on or before May 6.

Legislative staff told the LCC it would be difficult for the 125-member House and 40-member Senate to comply with social distancing rules in the Statehouse and also noted that 65.5 percent of the legislators were in the high-risk category through age and pre-existing health conditions. Staff also quashed any ideas of the Legislature conducting business remotely because the Kansas Constitution requires legislators to meet in Topeka and vote in public.

Last month, the Legislature hurried to finish the first part of the session as health concerns increased. Since then, as across the nation, the Kansas economy has been rocked by the pandemic. On Monday, the state’s revenue projection was decreased by $1.27 billion over the next 15 months.

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