What do brake inspections have in common with interstate branching?

In Kansas, at least, legislation about the former has turned into a bill about opting out of the latter.

"It's attempting to put the brakes on interstate branching," joked Jim Maag, senior vice president of the Kansas Bankers Association.

His group and the Community Bankers Association of Kansas had been working to resurrect a state opt-out bill they had supported, which the House financial institutions and insurance committee recently recommended be deferred until next year to allow for further study.

However, the House transportation committee, which has some of the same members as the financial institutions committee, in the meantime gutted a bill on brake inspections, replaced it with the opt-out language, and passed it out of committee, Mr. Maag said.

The strategy was not new, he said. "We have a cliche we use in the Kansas legislative process called 'gut 'n go,"' he said. The bill still awaits a full House vote and, if passed, a Senate response.

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