Don in the News

Kan. lawmakers’ last day in session to test governor’s clout
28 May 2019 at 1:27pm

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly this week faces a key test of her power to shape the state budget and keep moderate Republicans on her side as the GOP-controlled Kansas Legislature prepares to consider overriding her vetoes of spending and tax relief measures. State Rep. Don Hineman, of Dighton, said he and other moderate Republicans are “happy that we seem to be returning to the days of fiscal stability.” But Hineman said the tax bill appeals to moderates because the state never intended to collect the extra revenue. “It was a windfall to the state,” Hineman said. “It’s kind of a correction....


‘You want it bad, you get it bad’: Republican rift clouds path for Medic...
15 May 2019 at 1:22pm

Medicaid expansion supporters in the House are frustrated that Senate leadership intends to craft the legislation without them, using an interim panel exclusive to senators. Denning and Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, met with Rep. Don Hineman, R-Dighton, Rep. John Eplee, R-Atchison, and Rep. Susan Concannon, R-Beloit, to discuss the terms. “The Senate leadership has committed to running an expansion bill across the floor of the Senate in January,” Hineman said after the meeting. “We have received assurances that that bill will not be crafted by a unilateral, small handful of sen...


Kansas Lawmakers Had A Deal To Expand Medicaid Next Year, Until They Didn't
12 May 2019 at 1:13pm

A deal to clear the way for Medicaid expansion next year that some Kansas lawmakers thought they had brokered in the waning hours of their just-finished legislative session appears to be unraveling. Rep. Don Hineman led a last-minute insurrection by moderate House Republicans in the final days of this spring’s legislative session. Then, on the session’s final night, Hineman told reporters that his forces had reached an agreement with Senate leaders.  A week later, differing accounts of that agreement now undermine trust and the chances that lawmakers will start the 2020 session with anyth...


House Republicans drop effort to force Medicaid expansion vote this year
5 May 2019 at 1:07pm

A contingent of House Republicans abandoned plans Saturday to force a vote on Medicaid expansion, choosing instead to adopt a revised state spending plan and clear a path to end the session. Rep. Don Hineman, a Republican from Dighton who supports Medicaid expansion, said moderate Republicans feared retaliation from leadership if they continued to stonewall the budget. “Any additional progress would have been very, very difficult and with an increasing amount of risk involved,” Hineman said. Additionally, Hineman said, Medicaid expansion supporters received assurances from Senate Majority...


GOP thwarts governor's push to expand Medicaid in Kansas
4 May 2019 at 1:03pm

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly's effort to expand Medicaid in Kansas this year died Saturday when enough moderate Republicans bowed to the wishes of the GOP-controlled Legislature's conservative leaders and ended an impasse that had tied up the state budget. Rep. Don Hineman, a moderate Republican from western Kansas in the center of ongoing talks with GOP leaders, said he was reassured by public promises from Senate leaders that a bill would be drafted later this year and considered early next year, though Kelly's office urged them to keep blocking the budget. "Their message was, 'Hold toug...


Gov. Laura Kelly declines to veto Farm Bureau bill, urges Medicaid expan...
19 Apr 2019 at 12:58pm

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly said Friday the bill granting Kansas Farm Bureau authority to sell health coverage exempted from state and federal regulation would become state law without her signature and linked the gesture to her desire for passage of a Medicaid expansion bill. “The potential consumers for this product are begging us to do it,” said Rep. Don Hineman, a Dighton Republican supportive of Medicaid expansion.  Sen. Rob Olson, an Olathe Republican who chairs the Senate’s insurance committee, said the Farm Bureau option was “going to save and help our rural communities.”


Farm Bureaus Make An Attempt At Affordable Health Insurance, But Plans E...
17 Apr 2019 at 12:55pm

The Kansas Farm Bureau is behind a bill that would allow it to market non-insurance “health benefit plans.” According to Holdren, these would be up to 30 percent cheaper than what’s available through the federal health insurance marketplace, mainly, he said, because they would be exempt from state and federal regulations. “(Farm families) are not asking us to pass this bill, they’re begging us,” said Republican state Rep. Don Hineman, a farmer and rancher from Dighton.