Health
10:49 am
Thu March 20, 2014

State House Debates Legislature To Exempt Kansas From The Affordable Care Act

The state House will soon debate whether Kansas should join a compact of states seeking to exempt themselves from the federal health care law.

The bill on today's agenda would also let participating states remove themselves from other federal health regulations if Congress consents.

Critics call the measure symbolic and say Congress wouldn't approve such a compact.

Business
10:45 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Kansas Senate Approves Bill To Phase Out Mortgage Registration Fees

Kansas senators have approved a bill that repeals fees for mortgage registration.

The bill would phase out fees lenders pay to county governments over five years, based on the cost of a mortgage for a residential or commercial property.

The measure offsets some of the lost revenue with an increased document filing fee for deeds and mortgages.

Education
10:06 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Gov. Brownback Calls On Lawmakers To Provide Full Aid To School Districts In Need

Governor Sam Brownback says legislators should fully fund aid to poor school districts and significantly increase state spending on public education.

Governor Brownback issued a statement yesterday outlining his principles in response to a recent Kansas Supreme Court decision in an education funding lawsuit.

The high court ruled earlier this month that past cuts in aid to poor districts left unconstitutional gaps between them and wealthier districts.

The Department of Education has estimated that fully reversing those cuts would cost $129 million dollars a year.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu March 20, 2014

'Need For Speed' Is All Cars, All The Time

Professional driver. Do not attempt.
Credit rottentomatoes.com

Like all reviewers, I am sometimes required to go to movies that are not my type and which I am not likely to do justice to. In the case of Need For Speed, for example, a friend told me I should have known that cars that are swerving on the straightaway, skidding on the corners and sometimes spinning around, are being very skillfully driven at speeds in excess of 100 mph.

I thought Need For Speed was simply one of those usual Hollywood hymns to reckless driving.

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Government
8:09 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

U.S. District Court Ruling Allows States To Require Proof Of Citizenship On Federal Voting Forms

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren ruled that federal voter registration forms may be be modified to reflect the state forms.
Credit Celeste Lindell, flickr Creative Commons

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren ruled Wednesday afternoon that federal voter registration forms in both Kansas and Arizona will be modified to reflect the state forms.

Judge Melgren answered one key question with today’s decision: that it’s ultimately a state’s right to determine what is on their federal voter registration forms, and not that of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

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Transportation
10:43 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Portland-Based Seaport Airlines To Bring Commercial Services To Great Bend

SeaPort Airlines has been chosen to provide commercial service from Great Bend in central Kansas.

The U.S. Department of Transportation issued an order Monday granting the Portland, Oregon-based airline a two-year contract under the federal Essential Air Service program.

The contract calls for 18 round-trip flights per week, including two daily flights to Wichita and one to Kansas City on weekdays.

Three weekend flights are also planned.

Education
10:34 am
Wed March 19, 2014

New Bill Would Make Personal Financial Literacy A Requirement In Public Schools

Legislation moving through the state House would require public school students to receive instruction on personal financial literacy and how to give a professional handshake.

The material would be taught in math classes or other courses like family and consumer science or economics

Topics to be covered include: saving, investing, credit, debt and the importance of setting a budget.

The bill also requires the State Board of Education to give lawmakers a report on student scores on financial literacy tests before the start of the 2015 legislative session.

Government
10:30 am
Wed March 19, 2014

City Council Approves New Hotel Tax To Promote Tourism

Wichita's City Council voted 7-0 yesterday to approve a new hotel tax to finance efforts to promote tourism and attract large events.

The 2.75 percent tax will apply for guests at hotels with more than 50 rooms.

The levy is expected to generate about 2 1/2- to- 3 million dollars a year.

The Council also approved the establishment of a tourism business improvement district yesterday.

Wichita officials say current promotional funding was growing slowly, and the city is facing strong competition from other cities to attract conventions and tourists.

Education
10:23 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Kansas Senator Laura Kelly Says Subcommittee Targeting KU In Budget

Updated at 11:44 a.m CT:

A Kansas Senate committee is considering a budget bill that would restore some funding to state universities that was cut last year.

However, the bill caused some heated words about whether lawmakers are targeting the University of Kansas.

The bill eliminates $2 million dollars Governor Sam Brownback had proposed for a program to help commercialize KU research.

Only KU had a program proposal deleted from the governor's suggestions. Topeka Democrat Laura Kelly says the committee targeted KU.

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Politics
10:12 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Congressman Tim Huelskamp Nixes March Madness Raffle Due To Legal Constraints

Kansas congressman Tim Huelskamp has revised his plans for raffling off tickets to men's college basketball games for small campaign contributions because of legal questions.

Huelskamp announced yesterday he's no longer requiring a donation for a chance to win four tickets to NCAA men's tournament games this week in St. Louis.

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson told Huelskamp's campaign that the contest he announced on Monday was illegal.

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