Tue January 22, 2013
Top Morning News 01.22.13
Kansas legislators from both sides endorse shorter session; Kansas school efficiency report released; Political figure Grover Norquist endorses Kansas immigration plan.
KS Legislators Agree To Trim 2013 Session
Kansas legislative leaders from both parties have endorsed plans to shorten this year's annual session to 80 days.
If they're successful, the Legislature will trim 10 days off the normal 90 days that leaders expect each year.
Republican House Speaker Ray Merrick of Stilwell says legislators should be able to finish their business within 80 days, and Democratic leaders agree. Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka and House Democratic Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence strongly embraced Merrick's call to avoid pushing all major business into the wrap-up period that follows the Legislature's annual spring break.
Lawmakers regularly have had sessions longer than 90 days. Last year's went 99 days and included a wrap-up of 26 days.
The longest session ever was in 2002 and lasted 107 days.
Final Kansas School Efficiency Report Released
The School Efficiency Task Force has presented its final report on ways to get public schools to devote more of their state funding to classrooms. Gov. Sam Brownback created the task force last fall.
The task force is comprised primarily of accountants, and does not have any teachers. The panel released its final list of recommendations Monday.
Gov. Brownback has already included many of the suggestions in his proposed budget and last week's State of the State address. Among other things, the task force recommends the state adopt a two-year budget cycle to give schools more stability and predictability in funding.
It also suggests conducting an efficiency study or audit of the State Department of Education.
Grover Norquist Endorses Kansas Immigration Plan
Feedlots, dairies, and big farms in Kansas have complained for years about the lack of workers. Now, they have a high-profile advocate for their cause.
Remains Of Missing Kansas Man Found In A Field
The Cowley County Sheriff's Department says human remains that were found in a field are those of a man reported missing eight months ago.
Cowley County authorities used dental records to identify 37-year-old Corbin Wilt of Winfield. Wilt's wife reported his disappearance last May. The Sheriff's office says it doesn't suspect foul play, but the cause of death is under investigation.
A dog discovered a human bone in the field Friday. Authorities searched the spot northwest of Winfield over the weekend for more remains.
Police had looked in the same area just after Wilt's disappearance when they detected a signal from his cell phone.