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Bryan Thompson Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

The Kansas Supreme Court is considering a medical malpractice case that could affect doctors, patients and trial attorneys. At issue is the constitutionality of a state law that limits the amount of money that victims of medical malpractice can collect in court. As Jim McLean of the KHI News Service reports, one victim is challenging the state's cap on damage awards. You can find more on the Miller case and its potential effect on doctors, hospitals and patients on the website of the Kansas Health Institute -- www.khi.org

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

The Kansas House has advanced a bill that would move the state toward 401(k)-style retirement plans for teachers and government workers. The state pension system faces a nearly 8 billion dollar deficit over the next 30 years. The bill would require employees hired after July 1st, 2013, to join a 401(k)-style plan, instead of the state pension plan. Representative Ed Trimmer, a Winfield Democrat, opposed the bill. He said keeping new employees out of the pension system would make the funding problem worse.After the new 401(k) plan started, current employees would be able to opt-in, or see...

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

The Kansas Senate has approved a bill that would restrict late-term abortions, with the reasoning that fetuses can feel pain. The bill has already passed in the House and should soon be sent to Governor Sam Brownback. KPR’s Stephen Koranda has more.The Senate also advanced a bill that would require parental consent for a minor to get an abortion. Current law only requires that parents be notified.

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

The Kansas Senate has approved a bill restricting abortions after the 21st week of pregnancy. The legislation has already passed the House and should soon be sent to Governor Sam Brownback. Supporters of the bill say after 21 weeks is when a fetus can feel pain. Senator Terry Bruce, a Hutchinson Republican, brought the bill to the Senate floor.Opponents of the bill dispute the fetal pain claim. They say there is conflicting evidence on whether a fetus can feel pain at that stage of development. The bill allows an abortion after the 21st week of pregnancy only if the mother's life is in...

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

The Kansas Senate has approved a bill requiring voters to show a photo ID at the polls. The vote was 36 to 3. Secretary of State Kris Kobach has been pushing the bill. He believes it would help combat voter fraud. Senator David Haley, a Kansas City Democrat, believes voter fraud is not a problem in Kansas, and he says the new requirements would make it difficult for Kansans to vote.The bill would also require people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas to prove they're U-S citizens. That requirement would not take effect until 2013. A version that passed the House would put the...

Bryan Thompson Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

The Kansas House has given tentative approval to a bill to repeal the smoking ban exemption for state-owned casinos. But members turned back efforts to essentially repeal the smoke-free law. We get more from Jim McLean of the KHI News Service.

Bryan Thompson Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

The Affordable Care Act, the legislation which will overhaul America’s health care system over the next four years, is one year old today(WED). As Kansas Public Radio’s Bryan Thompson explains, whether that’s cause for celebration or outrage depends whom you ask.

KPR Web Operations Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

In college basketball, Wichita State has a home game tonight (WED) in the National Invitation Tournament with a trip to New York on the line. The Shockers will play a South Carolina mid-major, the College of Charleston. But, as Kansas Public Radio's Greg Echlin reports, the Shockers head coach is sensitive about the perception of tonight's teams.

KPR Web Operations Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Wichita State basketball coach Gregg Marshall is miffed about the perception of the Shockers as a mid-major team. The Shockers have a home game tomorrow (WED) night in the National Invitation Tournament against the College of Charleston, in South Carolina, where Marshall used to be an assistant coach.So far in the N-I-T, the Shockers have beaten two teams from B-C-S conferences, Nebraska and Virginia Tech.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

A budget proposal is headed to the full House. The Appropriations Committee approved that chamber's version of the bill yesterday (TUE). As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, the legislation had critics on both sides of the aisle.Shortly before passing the bill, lawmakers voted to exempt legislative staffers from the pay cut.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Lawmakers have resurrected legislation aimed at exempting Kansas from the federal health care law. Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook, a Shawnee Republican, introduced the so-called “Health Care Freedom Act” as an amendment to a bill. It is designed to keep Kansans from having to comply with any federal requirement to purchase health insurance. Pilcher-Cook says the act will help preserve the rights of Kansans.Opponents say the act would be trumped by federal law. The House inserted similar language into a bill yesterday (MON), and gave final approval to the bill today (TUE).

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

The House Appropriations Committee today (TUE) approved a budget proposal for the fiscal year starting July 1st. The legislation mirrors much of Governor Sam Brownback’s budget plan, including a 230-dollar-per-student cut to education funding. But the committee decided to trim more spending. They also reduced funding for social services and cut pay for state employees who make more than 40 thousand dollars per year. Elected officials and other state officers would see a 7.5 percent pay cut. The legislation was criticized by members of both parties, but passed on a 12-10 vote. Representative...

Bryan Thompson Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Efforts to repeal or weaken the state’s new ban on smoking in public places don’t appear to have much momentum in the Legislature. More from Jim McLean of the KHI News Service.

KPR Web Operations Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Tournament basketball in downtown Kansas City comes to a close tonight (TUE). Marking its conclusion is the title game of the N-A-I-A tournament. As Kansas Public Radio's Greg Echlin reports, not only did tournament interest stir up business in downtown Kansas City, a basketball-related exhibit captured attention at the Nelson-Atkins Museum.

Stephen Koranda Monday, March 21st, 2011

The House Appropriations Committee will continue work today (TUE) on a budget proposal for the fiscal year starting July 1st. Yesterday (MON), work on the budget stalled when the bill failed to get enough votes to move on to the full House. KPR’s Stephen Koranda has more.

Stephen Koranda Monday, March 21st, 2011

The House Appropriations Committee today (MON) failed to approve a budget for next fiscal year, after the bill was criticized by members of both parties. The committee added a pay cut for state employees making over 40 thousand dollars per year and cut funding for Washburn University by 5 million dollars. The bill was criticized by Democrats for cutting state services. Some Republicans said it did not do enough to cut spending. The legislation failed to get enough votes to move to the full House. Committee Chairman Marc Rhoades ("roads"), a Newton Republican, says the process has taken...

KPR Web Operations Monday, March 21st, 2011

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KPR Web Operations Monday, March 21st, 2011

There will be another push to locally televise more Topeka City Council meetings. This time, the pressure is coming from one council member who had been opposed to a similar move last year. But with the ongoing investigation THIS YEAR of theft and sales of scrap metal from a city job site, council member Bob Archer says he's now backing the move: Currently, Topeka's city cable channel offers live coverage of regular council meetings...but it cuts off the cameras when members go into an informal work session either before or after the formal meetings. Archer's resolution asking for the...

KPR Web Operations Monday, March 21st, 2011

The Topeka Zoo has gotten back into the good graces of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Zoo learned Sunday that the AZA found enough "forward progress" being made at the troubled facility to reinstate the zoo to full accreditation. Zoo director Brendan Wiley says the news from the AZA meeting in Tennessee this past weekend is a boost for the Topeka Zoo, which had come under fire for animal deaths, sloppy recordkeeping and unsanitary conditions in recent years.A loss of accreditation would have prevented the Topeka Zoo from sharing animals with other facilities that are approved...

KPR Web Operations Monday, March 21st, 2011

While the Kansas Jayhawks were on the verge of advancing to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA basketball tournament, Gary Woodland was busy excelling at another sport. He's a Topeka native now playing professional golf on the PGA Tour. Yesterday (SUN), he won his first event. Woodland collected a check for 990-thousand dollars for winning the Transitions Championship in Palm Harbor, Florida.Woodland played basketball at Washburn University before transferring to KU to play golf. He has now qualified to play in the Masters Tournament next month in Augusta, Georgia.

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