PITTSBURG — Representative Monica Murnan (D-Pittsburg) shared her experience as a Kansas State House representative with the Pittsburg Noon Kiwanis Thursday.
Murnan spoke to members of Kiwanis via video chat as she sat in the capitol’s House chamber.
Longtime Kiwanis member Joe Beachamp invited Murnan to be a guest speaker because he wanted to share her perspective as a representative.
For over 90 days, Murnan has been in session with the Kansas State House of Representatives. She shared what she found interesting or unexpected during the chat.
Murnan said the amount of time in between debates was one thing she did not expect.
“I’ve been practicing my patience,” Murnan said. “My mother is very proud of me.”
She said the representatives come together at 10 a.m., share announcements, leave, then come back again at two unless a debate is scheduled — otherwise she waits.
Murnan said not having enough votes to pass anything caused the waiting, and the decisions being made are by a small committee of people — until they can make a decision she must wait.
“It’s like we are waiting things out to see who is going to crack,” she said.
Murnan said when she became a representative she envisioned being inundated with phone calls — but it wasn’t so.
Since she isn’t constantly on the phone or answering numerous emails, Murnan said she spends her time waiting reading books and watching Netflix to keep her sane.
When Murnan isn’t waiting at the capitol, she continues to work for Greenbush 20 to 25 hours a week. She said only a handful of representatives still work during session.
“Greenbush was kind enough to allow me to do this,” Murnan said.
President of Noon Kiwanis Angela Radell said one of the reasons Murnan was chosen to be their guest speaker was because she serves children, which is Kiwanis’ main goal.
Murnan said it is like being 50 years old and living like a college student — taking clothes back home to be washed and grabbing snacks from convenient stores.
Murnan said she encourages anyone who has questions or concerns about the legislature to contact her through email. She also said to tweet at the Kansas legislature to follow what is going on in Topeka.
Kiwanis member Janette Mauk said the presentation was awesome and she would like to see more presentations from Murnan and other representatives in the future.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP.