Kansas Lawmakers Look to Brownback to Balance Budget
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Top Republicans in the Kansas Legislature hope to finish work on a plan for balancing a state budget that would require Governor Sam Brownback to do most of the work. The House was taking the measure up today (SUN). If its members approved the bill, the Senate would decide whether to send it to Brownback. Rejection in either chamber would require the legislative negotiators who drafted the plan to write a new one. The plan would only partially close shortfalls totaling more than $290 million in the current budget and the one for the next fiscal year beginning July 1. The plan assumes Brownback follows through with announced plans to cut higher education spending and delay major highway projects so road funds can be diverted to general government programs.
House Rejects Giving Governor Bigger Role in Judicial Selection
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas House has rejected a proposal that would have given the governor a bigger voice in who is nominated for the Kansas Supreme Court, following outcries from some lawyers who said it would have damaged the separation of powers between the branches of government. The House voted 57-56 against the proposal yesterday (SAT). The state's high court judges are chosen by a commission consisting of five attorneys elected by other lawyers and four members selected by the governor. Currently the chief justice appoints the replacements for the chairperson or lawyers who resign before their terms are up. The bill would have allowed the governor to appoint the replacements instead. The failed move comes amid discontent from conservatives over court rulings against the state on school funding and death penalty verdicts.
Kansas Appeals Court: Evidence Stands Despite Defunct Law
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Court of Appeals has ruled that a man could be convicted of driving under the influence using evidence obtained under a defunct law. The appeals panel ruled this week that the statute in question had been struck down by the Kansas Supreme Court after Brent Kraemer's 2013 arrest in Salina for suspicion of DUI. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the officer read Kraemer an implied consent advisory, informing him of a criminal charge if he refused to take a blood-alcohol test. Kraemer agreed to take the test, which he failed. Since then that advisory has been replaced. Kraemer wanted the appeals court to find his consent was obtained by an unconstitutional advisory. But the appeals panel says the ruling stands because the law was in effect at the time.
Topeka Man Faces 16 Years for Double Fatality Crash
MINNEAPOLIS, Kan. (AP) — A north-central Kansas man faces more than 16 years in prison for a vehicle crash that killed a teenager and her father. Jason Jeardoe of Bennington was convicted earlier of involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol in the 2014 deaths of Jason Pisocki and his daughter, Emma Jo Pisocki. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Jeardoe was sentenced Friday to 16 years and three months in jail. The Kansas Highway Patrol says the collision occurred April 11, 2014, about three miles west of Bennington. A parked vehicle was partially in the westbound lane, and Jeardoe, who was driving west, moved his pickup truck into the eastbound lane to avoid it, colliding head-on with the Pisockis' vehicle. They died at the scene.