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Legislature’s Problem: How To Meet

Governor Laura Kelly said that the Legislature should think very carefully about convening in-person at the Statehouse in January for its annual, 90-day session, as opposed to meeting remotely.

“There’s no way in this building (the Statehouse) to have those meetings without close proximity to each other,” Kelly said. “We really need to look at a different way of doing this.”

Legislative leaders last month approved $3 million in upgrades to technology for livestreaming video and audio from meetings.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt has issued a legal opinion saying the state constitution requires the Legislature to meet in Topeka, and for a majority of each chamber’s members to be present together in the same room to pass bills.

Asked about Schmidt’s opinion, Kelly said, “There are times when you just suspend the rules because of circumstances.”

Incoming Senate President Ty Masterson said in an emailed statement that legislative leaders are looking at ways to conduct business safely but added, “We must respect the Kansas Constitution, even in times of crisis.”


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