Top Morning News 12.13.12
KS senate considers new rules panel; KanCare ombudsman appointed; Cursive writing standards adopted; Volunteer groups seek to help Haitians, break record.
New KS Senate Leaders Pondering Rules Panel
Kansas Senate's new Republican leaders are weighing changes in how the chamber settles disputes over its rules.
Incoming Senate President Susan Wagle said Wednesday one possibility is forming a rules committee, similar to one in the House. But Wagle said GOP senators haven't worked out the details. New Majority Leader Terry Bruce of Hutchinson said another possibility is appointing a parliamentarian.
In the House, when questions arise, rules committee members have impromptu meetings in the chamber, and the chairman makes a finding. However, the House can vote to overrule the decision.
In the Senate, the member presiding over debates or votes makes a decision, subject to being overridden by the chamber. Any changes in that practice would be considered after the 2013 session opens in January.
Lawrence Man Appointed KanCare Ombudsman
A Lawrence man has been appointed to the newly-created position of KanCare Ombudsman.
KS AG Announces Crime Victims Support Payments
Attorney General Derek Schmidt says the Kansas Crime Victims Compensation Board awarded more than $243,000 to victims of violent crimes at its December meeting.
Schmidt said Wednesday the board approved cash payments in 60 new cases and 37 that were submitted earlier. The Kansas program was created in 1978 to help victims of violent crime pay for unexpected expenses, including medical treatment, mental health counseling, lost wages and funerals.
Awards are capped at $25,000, with limits of $5,000 for funerals, $3,500 for outpatient mental health counseling and $10,000 for inpatient mental health treatment. Families of homicide victims may also receive up to $1,000 for grief counseling.
The compensation is funded through court costs, fines, inmate wages, parole fees and restitution paid by offenders.
Kansas Board Encourages Cursive Instruction
Cursive handwriting instruction is getting a nod of support from the Kansas Board of Education.
Wichita Volunteer Groups Hope To Break Record For Hunger Relief
Three Kansas groups are seeking 2,000 volunteers to pack thousands of meals for children in Haiti and possibly set a world record in the process.
The effort is being put together by Volunteer Kansas, the hunger relief group Numana Incorporated and The Downtown Rotary Club of Wichita.
The goal is to package 208,000 meals in one hour on February 16th at the Kansas Coliseum pavilions in Wichita.