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Statehouse

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

The Kansas House today (WED) gave first-round approval to sweeping abortion legislation. One bill would require parental consent for a girl under 18 to get an abortion. Current law only requires parents be notified. In many cases, the bill would require the consent of both parents. Representative Geraldine Flaharty, a Wichita Democrat, opposed that provision. She says getting the consent of both parents might be impossible in an abusive household.The legislation would also require doctors to give a specific medical reason for a late-term abortion. House members also passed legislation that...

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

The Kansas House has given first round approval to two, anti-abortion bills. One measure would require parental CONSENT for someone under the age of 18 to get an abortion. Current law only requires parental notification. The legislation would also require doctors to give a specific medical reason for providing a late-term abortion. Lance Kinzer, an Olathe Republican, is one of the bill’s sponsors.That legislation includes provisions passed in recent years, but vetoed by Democratic governors. House members also advanced legislation that would ban all abortions after the 22nd week of...

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Currently, union members in Kansas can voluntarily have part of their paychecks deducted and automatically donated to political action committees. Today (WED), the Kansas House advanced a bill that would end that practice. Opponents of the bill say this change is a form of retribution against unions that is being carried out by Republicans and business leaders. Judith Loganbill, a Wichita Democrat, opposed the legislation on the House floor.Supporters say the bill protects union members who disagree with the political stances taken by their unions. Those supporters also argue that union...

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

A House committee is pushing for Kansas universities to consider privatizing many of their functions. The House Appropriations Committee passed the amendment yesterday (TUE) as part of a higher education budget bill. It asks the Board of Regents to study outsourcing services like housing and maintenance. State Representative Kasha Kelley, an Arkansas City Republican, supports the measure. She says all state agencies need to look at ways to save money, and that could include privatizing services. The amendment would require the Kansas Board of Regents to report next year on whether...

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

The Kansas Senate has given first-round approval to a bill aimed at fighting racial profiling by law-enforcement officers. But some people believe the bill has a big loophole in it. KPR’s Stephen Koranda has more.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

A House committee is pushing for Kansas universities to consider privatizing many of their functions. The House Appropriations Committee passed the amendment today (TUE) as part of a higher education budget bill. It asks the Board of Regents to study outsourcing services like housing and maintenance. State Representative Kasha Kelley, an Arkansas City Republican, supports the measure. She says all state agencies need to look at ways to save money, and that could include privatizing services. The amendment would require the Kansas Board of Regents to report next year on whether privatizing...

Stephen Koranda Monday, February 21st, 2011

Kansas House members are pushing to repeal a law that allows some illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at Kansas colleges and universities. The law was passed in 2004. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us, the House gave first round approval to the repeal effort yesterday (MON).A final vote in the House could come as soon as today (TUE).

Stephen Koranda Monday, February 21st, 2011

The House has moved to repeal a Kansas law that gives in-state tuition to some illegal immigrants. The 69-49 vote is the first step towards repealing the law, which originally passed in 2004. Under the rule, undocumented students who graduated from a Kansas high school can attend college and pay in-state tuition. State Representative Mario Goico (GWEY-co), a Wichita Republican, spoke against repealing the law. He himself emigrated from Cuba as a teenager. Around 400 students take part in the program. Opponents of the current rule argue it gives a benefit to lawbreakers and isn’t fair to...

Stephen Koranda Friday, February 18th, 2011

A legislative bill to halt social promotion for 3rd graders is drawing opposition from education officials. Lawmakers are considering a measure that would hold back third-graders who cannot pass a statewide reading test. Kansas City, Kansas School District lobbyist Bill Reardon says the proposal isn't as effective as it would seem. School districts can already hold back students, but this bill would make it mandatory for kids who can't pass a reading test. Education officials say decisions on promoting third-graders should stay in local hands.

Stephen Koranda Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Workers compensation laws are likely headed for a rewrite in Kansas. The House has given first-round approval to a bill increasing certain protections for both employers and employees. The measure was crafted by an unlikely alliance between business and labor groups. But a group of Democrats - including Representative Mike Slattery of Mission - says the bill has been marred by changes that were made in a legislative committee. Slattery says that changes will no longer require companies to pay for translators for workers who don't speak English, but need to see a physician. Slattery also...

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