Legislature Opens with Bipartisan Tone

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) Leaders of the Kansas Legislature are stressing a desire for bipartisanship as they begin the annual session.

The House and Senate convened Monday with Republicans outnumbering Democrats 32-8 in the Senate and 92-33 in the House.

Senate President Susan Wagle of Wichita promised an open-door policy for senators of both parties. The chamber’s minority leader, Democrat Anthony Hensley of Topeka, praised Wagle as a fighter after noting her multiple bouts with cancer.

In the House, new Speaker Ray Merrick of Stilwell told members they shouldn’t be afraid to share ideas with colleagues.

House Democratic Leader Paul Davis noted what he called a toxic atmosphere in American politics over the past decade. Davis said the remedy starts with lawmakers working together and realizing that compromise is good.