Valdenia Winn’s “Outburst” Hearing Set for Friday
June 25, 2015

Kansas House Republicans are expected to act on a formal complaint against KCK Democratic State Representative Valdenia Winn Friday morning.

Republicans lodged the complaint against the KCK Democrat because of “offensive and reprehensible” remarks she made on the House floor during debate on bill restricting some school benefits for the children of illegal immigrants.

According to the House record Winn said, ““I have dreaded this day because this is a racist, sexist, fear-mongering bill. I would like first to apologize to the progressively minded people of Kansas who are appalled that we are turning
back the hands of to, and I’m going to use strong language, Jim Crow tactics. And, once again, making Kansas a laughing stock. I want to apologize to the students and parents whose lives are being hijacked by the racist bigots who support this bill, because this bill —” .

At that point, her microphone was cut off.

Democrats accuse the House Republicans of trying to cut off free speech.

‘Full’ Beer Bill to Kansas House
February 23, 2015

(AP) – A Kansas House committee has approved a bill to allow grocery stores to sell wine, liquor and full-strength beer starting in July 2018.
The measure endorsed Monday by the Commerce Labor and Economic Development Committee also would allow convenience stores to sell full-strength beer in July 2018.
The committee’s 10-7 vote sends the bill to the full House for debate.
Groceries and convenience stores currently can sell what’s known as cereal malt beverage, or weak beer.
Only liquor stores can sell other packaged alcoholic beverages.
Grocery and convenience store chains have been pushing for a change for years, and supporters argue it would make the market freer.
But critics say such a change will destroy small businesses and make it harder to prevent alcohol sales to underage buyers.

Willie Dove Wins House Whip Race
February 4, 2015

(AP) – Republicans in the Kansas House have elected a Bonner Springs lawmaker to serve as majority party whip.

Rep. Willie Dove received 47 votes on the third and final ballot Wednesday, compared with 44 votes for Rep. Brett Hildabrand of Shawnee. The whip counts votes and lines up support for GOP leaders on major legislation.

Dove is an insurance salesman first elected to the House in 2012.

Republican Reps. Bill Sutton of Gardner and Erin Davis of Olathe also sought the whip’s job but were eliminated on the first and second ballots.

The position was open because Rep. Ron Ryckman Jr. of Olathe stepped down.

Ryckman was elected to the post in December, but House Speaker Ray Merrick later named him chairman of the budget-writing Appropriations Committee.

Kansas House Votes Down Open Records Expansion
February 2, 2015

(AP) – The Kansas House has rejected a proposal to expand the state Open Records Act so that it would cover private emails by state officials about government business.
The House on Monday voted 86 to 30 against a proposal from Wichita Democrat Jim Ward.
His measure was inspired by a Wichita Eagle report that Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget director used a private email account in December to give two lobbyists a preview of Brownback’s proposals weeks before they were formally unveiled to lawmakers.
Ward offered his proposal as an amendment to an open records bill that later received first-round approval in the House.
Brownback’s office declined to comment on Ward’s proposal. But several GOP lawmakers criticized Ward for not bringing his proposal to a committee for a thorough vetting.

Merrick Re-elected Speaker, KCK’s Burroughs Get Kansas House Minority Spot
December 1, 2014

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Republicans in the Kansas House have re-elected Speaker Ray Merrick to the chamber’s top leadership position.

And House Democrats turned Monday to veteran state Rep. Tom Burroughs of Kansas City to lead them for the next two years.

The House’s 125 members and members-elect had organizational meetings at the Statehouse to pick leaders for 2015 and 2016.

Merrick easily overcame a challenge within the GOP from Rep. Virgil Peck of Tyro. The vote among Republicans was 80-16.

The GOP will have a 97-28 majority when the Legislature reconvenes in January.

Democrats had to pick a new Minority Leader because Paul Davis of Lawrence gave up his House seat to run unsuccessfully for governor.

Burroughs won the minority leader’s job over Rep. Jim Ward of Wichita in a 17-11 vote.