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2.19.23 – KVOE — 

With onslaught of bills introduced in Kansas Statehouse, lawmakers prioritizing initiatives. Kansas House Representatives Mark Schreiber …

Kansas House Representatives Mark Schreiber (from left), Duane Droge and Eric Smith prepare to open Saturday’s Legislative Dialogue at the Flint Hills Technical College main campus. Chuck Samples/KVOE News.

Local lawmakers had a chance to meet with area residents as part of Emporia’s first Legislative Dialogue of the year Saturday.

House Representatives Mark Schreiber of Emporia, Eric Smith of Burlington and Duane Droge of Eureka offered their thoughts on the work of the day and also fielded questions from the audience. Schreiber says several aspects of tax policy look promising.

Smith says over 700 bills have already been submitted, and he cautions not all those will be worked up — let alone brought to the floor for votes. The focus is on what can get passed, and Smith sees potential changes in juvenile crime policy and water policy that could see passage.

There are areas of disagreement among local lawmakers, notably when it comes to education policy.

Schreiber of Emporia is not in favor of education savings accounts, commonly called school vouchers for private schools.

Schreiber is also not in favor of the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which is designed to halt transgender athletes from getting involved in girls’ or women’s sports. Schreiber says the Kansas State High School Activities Association and NCAA already have rules in place to handle those related issues.

Smith, meanwhile, supports the basic idea of parental choice in schools and protecting biological women in their sporting endeavors.

Also appearing was 13th District Representative Duane Droge of Eureka, who has mentioned his firm support of traditional gender roles. Droge also touched base on his early work on the Social Services Budget Committee. He also mentioned work with Smith on possible adjustments to rural ambulance crews which could make it easier for rural fire districts to transfer patients if needed.

KVOE will continue to keep you updated on the legislative session, including weekly updates from the League of Women Voters Emporia chapter involving bills submitted, bill resolutions and votes of lawmakers representing Lyon County.