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5.28.20 – KSNW – TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW)

Kansas lawmakers are getting ready to return to Topeka.

Governor Laura Kelly has called a special session, which is a meeting of the full legislature outside of the normal session schedule. A special session can only be called if 2/3rds of the legislature vote for it or by call of the Governor.

Work will begin Wednesday, June 3, 2020, and can last as long as necessary. Unlike the final day of the legislative session, which usually has a midnight deadline, a special session has no time limit.

While lawmakers have been brought back to specifically work on coronavirus related issues, such as clarifying the Governor’s emergency powers, anything can happen.

“When you’re in session, any legislator can bring forward their own legislation for consideration,” said Rep. Brenda Dietrich, R-Topeka.

Republican representative Fred Patton is the chair of the House Judiciary Committee which, along with the Senate Judiciary Committee, oversaw most of the work on the 78-page COVID-19 bill that passed both chambers during the marathon 24-hour, final day of the session. That bill was vetoed by the Governor.

Patton says that committees may meet prior to the special session to begin work.

“Most of what happens in the legislature takes place in committees,” explained Patton. “That’s where we do the work, where we dig into the language, and you’d hate for everybody to have to come back and sitting around and waiting.”

Official agendas for the special session have not been set as of this time, but anything is on the table.

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