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Kansas House Votes To Bar Late-Night Legislative Work

Members of the Kansas House have voted to amend their rules so they won’t work into the early hours of the morning passing legislation.

The rules says they can’t work past midnight, which often happens at the end of the session. Several lawmakers said the late nights can lead to bad decisions.

Republican Rep. Barbara Bollier, a retired physician, says studies show lack of sleep has effects.

“You are impaired, to the equivalent of being drunk. We do not allow alcohol on this floor for a reason. Because our decision making is supposed to be effective,” says Bollier.

Another Republican, John Barker, says late nights can be needed to get things done during their allotted time in Topeka.

“We don’t quit at midnight and we come in early. But we get the people’s work done because they put a time limit on us. They say 90 days,” says Barker.

The chamber can suspend the rules with a majority vote. The House also voted to limit the number of bills that can be bundled together. But they rejected a plan to keep records showing how members vote on most items. A

s it currently stands, many procedural votes on bills are not recorded.

As the Kansas News Service managing editor, I help our statewide team of reporters find the important issues and breaking news that impact people statewide. We refine our daily stories to illustrate the issues and events that affect the health, well-being and economic stability of the people of Kansas. Email me at skoranda@kcur.org.
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