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5:37 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Top Morning News 11.09.12

Brownback says he won't support a Kansas insurance exchange; With the launch of KanCare near lawmakers consider oversight of program; Film about Kansas farming premieres Friday.

Union, Bombardier Reach Tentative Agreement

The Machinists union says it has reached a tentative contract agreement that could end a month-long strike at Bombardier Learjet's aircraft plant in Wichita.

Union spokesman Bob Wood said the tentative accord was reached Thursday as federal mediators continued working with the two sides. Details of the agreement will be announced to union members Friday. They'll vote on it Saturday, and the union is recommending approval.

The Machinists represent about 825 workers at the Wichita plant. They walked off the job October 8 after rejecting a five-year contract offer over the length of the proposal and an increase in health insurance costs. The union also staged a three-week strike against Bombardier Learjet in 2006.

Brownback Says He Won't Support Insurance Exchange

Governor Sam Brownback says he won't support an application from Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger to establish a combined state and federal health insurance marketplace.

The decision announced Thursday illustrates the divide over the federal health care law between the conservative Republican Brownback and moderate Republican Praeger.

States have until November 16 to inform the federal government if they plan to create their own health insurance exchanges, partner with the federal government or leave the exchange to the federal agencies to run.

Praeger, who is an elected commissioner, had been working on a grant application to seek a state-federal partnership to manage the exchange in Kansas. Brownback had to sign a letter of support before the application could be filed with federal officials. 

A legislative committee is recommending that lawmakers have greater oversight of a plan to overhaul Medicaid.

KanCare Launch Date Nears, Lawmakers Consider Oversight

KanCare, as the new program will be called, would put most Medicaid recipients into managed care programs run by private companies. The change is scheduled to take effect January 1.

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Election Officials Told Not To Release Names Of Provisional Voters

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's office is telling county officials they shouldn't release names of voters casting provisional ballots.

The advice from Kobach's office Thursday came as Democratic Representative Ann Mah of Topeka is seeking a list of such voters so that she can contact them before their ballots are reviewed.

She said she wants to help voters correct problems affecting their ballots, so their votes will count. In the memo Kobach's office said releasing voter names would violate federal law.

Film Highlights Kansas Farming In The Mid-Twentieth Century

A premiere of the film Harvesting the High Plains will take place tonight at Wichita's Orpheum Theatre. 

The film takes western Kansas from the 1930's Dustbowl to post World War II.

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