By Sherman Smith | May 5, 2019

A contingent of House Republicans abandoned plans Saturday to force a vote on Medicaid expansion, choosing instead to adopt a revised state spending plan and clear a path to end the session.

Moderate Republicans had joined with Democrats in the House to reject two rounds of budget proposals on Friday, but enthusiasm waned Saturday night as the House chamber was locked down for two hours and maximum pressure was applied.

More than 20 Republicans eventually switched their vote, leading to 79-45 passage of a budget that boosts funding for higher education, the public employee retirement system and highway repairs. The Senate then approved the budget by a 26-14 vote, sending the legislation to Gov. Laura Kelly.

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