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Lawmakers Say 2016 Session Required Reaching Across The Aisle


State Lawmakers have finished the main part of their work for the 2016 legislative session.

House Minority Leader Spence Hawley says Democrats are disappointed Medicaid expansion did not happen this legislative session. But he says he’s glad that other bills didn’t get passed.  
“You know there’s a couple of bills that would have resulted in discrimination against certain types of people, and those were able to be squashed, or vetoed by the Governor,” Hawley says. “We had a measure brought to circumvent the initiated measure process on regulated and payday loans. And that was killed.”
As for bills that did make it to the Governor’s desk, Hawley says legislation changing education funding is the most significant. He says the half cent sales tax increase required a lot of bi-partisan discussion.
“What this session showed is a good example that we need to send to Washington D.C. and say this is how you should do legislation,” Hawley says. “It needs to be across the aisle. One side doesn’t have all the answers. You can do a give and take, and come up with a good product.”
House Majority Leader Brian Gosch says the focus on education made this session less divided than previous years.
“I mean it was on everybody’s mind for a long time, and just kind of dominated the conversation, and you had less focus on anything else,” Gosch says.
Gosch says overall, this session was pretty standard.
“When I was an intern in ’92, and when I served the last nine years, and when I followed the legislature, they typically tend to tackle the same issues every year, the big issues,” Gosch says. “So in that sense it was the same. Where the differences come in is the variations of how those issues get approached. And the big issue this year was the tax increase.”
Legislators have one final day of work this session. They have an opportunity to consider any vetoes the Governor issues. Most lawmakers return to the Capitol for veto day later this month.