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State fossil bill stymied

3/18/2014

By MIKE CORN

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

TOPEKA -- It's the ultimate whodunit. But this one isn't about who's dead, rather who pulled back a legislative measure recognizing two long dead species as the state's fossils.

"I am trying to find out," Rep. Don Hineman said of his efforts to determine why a measure he carried through the House has been pulled off the consent calendar in the Senate.

The bill designating both the Tylosaurus and the Pteranodon as the state's fossils sailed through Sen. Ralph Ostmeyer's Federal and State Affairs Committee last week and was immediately put on the consent calendar for the entire Senate to take action on.

Items on the consent calendar are considered to be without controversy.

Had things gone normally, the bill should have received the Senate's blessing on Friday -- three days after it was added to the calendar.

The Senate met briefly Friday and took no action other than to receive a pair of committee reports. It didn't take up the consent calendar on Monday.

Tuesday, the bill was withdrawn from the consent calendar.

Hineman, R-Dighton, said he's been trying to reach Ostmeyer, R-Grinnell, and left a message on both his phone and his desk.

The Hays Daily News also is trying to reach Ostmeyer.

"I've also called the lieutenant governor's office," he said, noting that Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer's daughter testified last week in favor of the bill.

Hineman's surprised by the move, which typically happens on the first day a bill is placed on the consent calendar.

"I do know I have a very disappointed 4-H'er out in Scott City," he said of an ardent supporter of the bill.