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5:20 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Top Morning News 3.14.13

Bill that will change judicial selection process is on its way to the governor; Many Kansas counties lack a KanCare dental provider; Conference aims to strengthen marriages.

Kan. Senate Debating Union Contribution Bill

A bill keeping public employee unions in Kansas from deducting money from members' paychecks for political activities is advancing in the Legislature.

The Senate is scheduled to debate it Thursday, and it's expected to pass.

Bill supporters say they want to prevent public employee unions from funneling money deducted from members' paychecks to candidates or causes opposed by those members.

Opponents argue there's no need for the legislation because union members agree to all deductions from their paychecks. Public employee unions say the measure is a politically motivated attempt to undermine groups that overwhelmingly support Democrats. 

Judicial Selection Bill Is On Its Way To Brownback

Legislation giving the Kansas governor and lawmakers more power in appointing Court of Appeals judges is on its way to Gov. Sam Brownback.

The Senate gave the measure final approval Wednesday on a 28-12 vote. The House passed it earlier this month, and Brownback is expected to sign it.

The measure would give the governor the authority to appoint Court of Appeals judges, subject to Senate confirmation. It gets rid of the existing attorney-led commission that screens applicants and nominates three finalists. The governor makes the appointment, with no role for lawmakers.

Many lawmakers want to change a similar selection process for the Kansas Supreme Court, but that would require amending the state constitution.

Kansas House Advances Gun Measure

The Kansas House has advanced a bill expanding the public places where people with permits could carry concealed weapons. It would allow school districts and state colleges to designate employees who could carry concealed firearms inside their buildings, even if such weapons were banned for others.

A final vote is expected tomorrow.

More Than 1 In 3 Kansas Counties Lack A KanCare Dentist

 A new report from the Kansas Dental Project found that dental services are unavailable in more than one third of the counties in Kansas for people covered by KanCare.

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Wichita Conference Aims To Strengthen Marriages

Statistics show about half of adults in the U-S are married - a record low. The numbers are even lower for African Americans about 31 percent.

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