Wichita Eagle: JoCo senator’s ‘pass’ vote was key as Kansas Medicaid expansion attempt fails

By Andy Marso and Jonathan Shorman | May 1, 2019

The Kansas Senate fell one vote short of forcing a Medicaid expansion bill on to its calendar Wednesday, leaving the hot-button issue possibly dead for another year unless supporters can find a new way to advance it.

The vote represents a significant defeat for Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly, who made expansion one of her top priorities.

Democrats tried to use a procedural motion to override Senate leaders and keep expansion alive in the waning days of the legislative session. But the 40-member chamber needed 24 votes and the motion failed 23-13 after Senate majority leader Jim Denning, a Republican from Overland Park, voted “pass” rather than “aye” or “nay.”

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