Kansas lawmakers boast savings, hope you have a short memory

By Travis Perry │ Kansas Watchdog

OSAWATOMIE, Kan. — Kansas’ uncharacteristically-short legislative session saved taxpayers big bucks this year, to the tune of about $693,000, according to state elected officials.

— The Legislature saved more than $693,000 by adjourning 11 days early. #ksleg

— Kansas House GOP (@KanHouseGOP) May 13, 2014

That’s technically true – but only if you have a short memory.

While the 2014 session was the shortest in four decades, according to House Republicans, last year’s 99-day session was the Legislature’s third-longest since 2000. The nine extra days cost the state a whopping $385,000.

Furthermore, if you recall, the early June wrap-up wasn’t the last time lawmakers graced the Capitol for the year. Legislators tacked on an extra $90,000 in expenses after convening for two days in September to address the state’s “Hard 50” laws regarding murder sentencing.

Argue either way about the necessity of the extra innings, it still costs the same. In all, the Legislature accrued roughly $475,000 in unplanned governing expenses last year.

This year’s savings, minus the 2013 unanticipated costs, are more like $218,000. It’s nothing to sneeze at, for sure, but certainly not as large as state leaders are boasting.

Contact Travis Perry at travis@kansaswatchdog.org, or follow him on Twitter at @muckraker62. Like Watchdog.org? Click HERE to get breaking news alerts in YOUR state!

Category: Kansas, News, Capitol, Early, GOP, Legislature, Merrick, overtime, Republican, save, saving, Spending, Topeka, Wagle

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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