Sebelius Speaks Out About Legislative Session
Governor Kathleen Sebelius released the following statement on the end of the 2007-2008 Session:
"Today, the Speaker of the House chose to block the opportunity to advance significant economic development legislation before he adjourned the House. With 96 members present, the Speaker and his Republican members voted not to consider passing bills which had already passed both Chambers and that I was committed to sign into law.
"S Sub for HB 2037 would have removed the barriers for manufacturing companies to expand in Kansas and SB 693 advanced the Gardner Intermodal Facility, a significant new transportation project. Both bills needed approval of only 63 members of the House to be sent to me for my signature.
"Instead of encouraging a vote on these two important measures, which had been bundled with the coal plant bill before the adjournment of the regular session, the Speaker told members there was no need to be present. When well more than the necessary 63 legislators came to Topeka, the Speaker led the efforts to prevent the votes from occurring, in spite of the good work of the Shawnee County delegation and various members of the Johnson County delegation to advance these important measures.
"It is also unfortunate that the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who was part of the coalition to promote the coal legislation, was not insistent that these measures be considered on their own merit before the legislature adjourned. Despite knowing that two previous vetoes had been sustained, the Chamber agreed to a strategy to include key economic development legislation in a package with the coal bill, which they knew was likely to be vetoed. Even though there was an opportunity to pass the stand- alone legislation today, neither the Chamber, Republican leaders or legislators worked for a successful outcome.
"It is unfortunate that Kansas business owners, their employees and the state's economy will be the victims of this legislative decision made on the final day of the 2008 legislative session.