It’s a legislature progress report from both sides of the state line on this week’s episode of “4 The People.”
Missouri capitol bureau reporter Emily Manley joins us from Jefferson City and Rebekah Chung, our Kansas capitol bureau reporter is in Topeka.
Lawmakers in both states have a lot of issues left to cover before the sessions end.
In Missouri, lawmakers are getting ready to return from spring break after adjourning a day early last week.
One of the biggest issues on the agenda is whether to ban gender-affirming care for minors.
The legislation known as the “Missouri Save Adolescents from Experimentation Act.” If passed, it would stop doctors from prescribing puberty blockers and hormones. The act would also block surgical transitions for anyone under the age of 18.
The issue will likely cause Democrats and Republicans to clash again.
“But Democrats stood the floor for nearly 10 hours to pretty much stop the vote from happening and there are many Republicans who are not happy with this. I think when we return, we’re going to see the conservative caucus back in action,” Manley said.
Missouri lawmakers also plan to debate the future of sports wagering and school choice for families.
School choice is also a big topic in Kansas, with the Kansas House approving the school choice bill Tuesday.
The legislation would allow some parents to get thousands of dollars per child if they want to move them from public school into home or private schools.
Supporters say the plan allows parents to have a choice in their children’s education.
Critics say it will funnel millions of public tax dollars to private schools.
The plan also includes money for teacher salaries and special education.
The bill still needs to pass the senate and get Gov. Kelly’s signature.
“Democrats though are standing strong against this. Even though it is something that could give that money for special ed, give those teacher pay raises, democrats are saying ‘no.’ It’s also something divisive among Republicans as well, passing by only about 64 votes. I’m suspicious something similar could happen in the senate,” Chung said.
Kansas lawmakers will also discuss transgender rights and the future of medical marijuana in the sunflower state.
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