Local legislators discussed bills they are sponsoring or co-sponsoring, and other activities they plan to work on during the Kansas legislative session that began earlier this week.

Senate Majority Leader Larry Alley, R-Winfield, said he plans to co-sponsor legislation honoring gold star families who have lost service members during times of military conflict, but has no other plans to sponsor legislation at the moment.

Sen. Mike Fagg, R-El Dorado, said there are no particular bills he is supporting right now, and he is focused on redistricting and the state budget.

Federal COVID-19 relief funds have created a state budget surplus, and Fagg said these funds should be used to cover one-time expenses.

“Paying down debt should be our first priority, said Fagg.

Rep. Doug Blex, R-Independence, said he plans to co-sponsor a Convention of States bill and a bill to allow purchase of affinity license plates with conservation themes, with funds from these sales hopefully allowing free admission to state parks.

He said that Kansas needs to use its surplus funds for one-time debt payments, such as for KPERS, rainy day funds and reducing the sales tax on food.

“We should not be expanding new ‘wishlists’ that will require additional future funding that more than likely will not be there, due to massive federal input this past year and possible higher inflation rates,” said Blex.

Other things Blex wants to do this session include continue working on Advanced Practice Registered Nurses’ ability to practice within the scope of their training, and working with the City of Latham to get their recent sales tax vote validated due to a publication delay.

Messages left for Reps. Cheryl Helmer and Bill Rhiley were not returned before deadline.

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