Kansas lawmakers in impasse over budget, Medicaid expansion

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Kansas lawmakers in impasse over budget, Medicaid expansion
Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, left, R-Overland Park, confers with state Rep. Kathy Wolfe Moore, D-Kansas City, on the far end of the House speaker's raised dais during a long break in the House's session, Friday night, May 3, 2019, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kansas. Medicaid expansion supporters in the House, including Wolfe Moore, are blocking a proposed state budget to get a vote on expansion in the Senate, where Denning wants to wait until next year. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature is locked in an impasse over a Medicaid expansion plan favored by Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly.

It’s been unable to pass a new budget that will keep state government operating after June.

Lawmakers were set to return Saturday to the Statehouse after the House on Friday rejected two different versions of a proposed 8.4 billion spending blueprint for the budget year beginning in July.

Democrats and moderate Republicans blocked them in hopes of forcing a vote in the Senate on an expansion plan.

Expansion advocates are pushing legislators to expand Medicaid health coverage to as many as 150,000 more Kansas residents now. Top Republicans argue that legislators need more time to get the details right and want to pass an expansion bill next year.