Top Morning News 01.21.13
Brownback moves to merge JJA and Department of Corrections; Lawmakers looking to make more tax cuts in 2013 session; City of Wichita to consider water usage.
Brownback To Merge Juvenile, Adult Corrections
Governor Sam Brownback has submitted an executive order to merge the state's Juvenile Justice Authority with its adult Department of Corrections.
The order takes effect in July unless either the House or Senate reject it.
Governor Brownback says that two recent legislative audits show the need for a new approach to juvenile justice. He believes the juvenile facilities and programs would be better managed under the Department of Corrections.
The governor had promised to submit such an order earlier this year. So far, no significant opposition has emerged from the Republican-dominated legislature.
Some Lawmakers May Pursue Cuts During Budget Talks
Gov. Brownback has also proposed many more tax cuts for Kansas. To help pay for that, he wants to make a temporary sales tax increase permanent. Though, he may have to fight lawmakers on that, and also on eliminating the home mortgage deduction.
Wichita Considers Restricting City Water Usage
Because 2 years of drought have lowered water water levels at Cheney Reservoir, Wichita officials are considering implementing water restrictions. The reservoir is the city's main water source.
Ben Nelson of Wichita's public works and utilities department says the department is looking at how best to prolong water supplies until the drought subsides.
Wichita's city council is expected to hear options about water issues during a workshop meeting on February 26. They'll vote on the issue during a regular council meeting soon after that.
Wichita has tried to curb demand for water by charging residents who use the most water in the summer higher fees.
Hundreds Turn Out For Impromptu Kansas Gun Rally
A protest against proposed federal gun control legislation brought hundreds of people to the Kansas Statehouse this weekend.
The protestors voiced their anger at President Obama's proposal to strengthen gun control policies.
Thomas Stalder of Atchison, who organized the protest, says he was amazed so many people showed up on a Saturday to an event he announced just a few days prior on Facebook.
The rally had about a dozen speakers.