A Kansas House committee has advanced a bill aimed at bucking federal regulation of the lesser prairie chicken. It was announced last week that the federal government would list the bird as a threatened species.
The bill says federal rules and policies surrounding the lesser prairie chicken have no effect in Kansas.
Washington Republican Sharon Schwartz is chairwoman of the Kansas House Ag Committee. She says the bill makes a statement. Schwartz says state and regional conservation plans would be better than federal regulation, which could hurt industry.
The Kansas House Appropriations Committee will start hearings Monday on a budget bill to comply with a state Supreme Court ruling over education funding.
However, the bill will cover more than just school spending.
The budget bill before the committee includes other policy items like rewriting teacher licensure rules. Chairman Marc Rhoades, a Newton Republican, told committee members last week about the broad scope of the discussion.
The Kansas Senate has voted 25-15 to repeal the state's Renewable Portfolio Standards, which require 20 percent of Kansas power generation to be from renewable sources by 2020. The requirements were passed in 2009 and have been credited with helping promote wind power development.
The vote came after more than an hour of debate. Opponents of the standards say they pick winners and losers, and wind power growth has outpaced the renewable requirements. They argue that the standards have led to rate increases with more in the future. Senator Rob Olson is an Olathe Republican.