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Senate Committee Chair Ousted

from Dodie Wellshear, KAFP Government Relations Consultant

From Feb. 16: Senate President Susan Wagle (R-Wichita) announced Friday she's removing Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook (R-Shawnee) from her position as chair of the Senate Public Health & Welfare Committee and from the committee altogether.

Sen. Michael O'Donnell (R-Wichita) will move up to chair the committee and Sen. Elaine Bowers (R-Concordia) will serve as vice-chair. Wagle will fill the vacancy on the committee.

The move comes following Pilcher-Cook's attempt to amend Medicaid expansion into SB341, a bill authorizing drug step therapy into the Medicaid program, during Senate debate last Tuesday. SB341 was a bill that had come out of her own committee. According to Pilcher-Cook, she requested the amendment so that her fellow Senators "could send a message to the House" by voting Medicaid expansion down. more

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