Top Morning News 12.11.12
State drops projected budget shortfall; Brownback will try and merge JJA with corrections in next legislative session; KS BOE to consider allowing PE credit for JROTC.
State's Projected Budget Shortfall Drops To $295M
The Kansas Legislature's research staff has revised its projections for the budget shortfall facing the state next year, dropping it to $295 million.
The initial projection for the shortfall was $328 million. The new figure is 10 percent lower. The researchers released the new estimate Monday after completing their monthly report on revenue collections.
The first projection was tied to a financial forecast issued in early November by state officials. Legislative researchers later discovered that they'd improperly included some one-time spending from the current fiscal year in their projections on spending for the next fiscal year. Also, revenue collections in November were slightly better than anticipated.
Brownback Seeks To Merge Juvenile Justice Authority With Corrections
Governor Sam Brownback wants to merge the state's Juvenile Justice Authority with the Department of Corrections.
KS Board Of Education To Consider PE Credit For JROTC
Kansas students could complete a physical education requirement by participating in junior ROTC, under a proposal before the State Board of Education.
If approved during today's board meeting in Topeka, the new rule would give students one PE credit for completing two years of junior ROTC. Kansas students are required to earn one physical education credit to graduate. Generally, a credit takes two semesters to earn.
Material provided to the board says 20 Kansas schools offer junior ROTC. But some give no physical education credit for the program, while others offer JROTC students a half or full PE credit. Advocates say the change would make it easier for students to fit JROTC into schedules already packed with required classes.
Opponents say physical education and junior ROTC have different goals.
KS School Finance Task Force To Meet
A task force created by Gov. Sam Brownback to review the Kansas system for funding public schools held its final meeting Monday in Topeka.
Texting Whereabouts Of Deer Illegal In KS
Kansas wildlife officials are reminding hunters that it's against the law to exchange text messages on the whereabouts of deer and other game that might be headed their way.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism says the law has been around in various forms for years. Officials say hunters can't use two-way radios to give other hunters a heads-up about the location of a game animal moving in their direction, and that law, which prohibits the use of a radio or other mechanical device, includes cellphones.
The department says a text is the same as a phone call under the law.