Top Morning News 3.20.13
Abortion bill and union contribution bill pass the Kansas House; An eagle is recovering at the Kansas Raptor Center; Eisenhower controversy heads to Congress.
Kansas House Approves Union Payroll Deduction Bill
Kansas legislators have given final approval to a bill that restricts the ways public employee unions raise money.
A 68-54 vote Tuesday in the House sends the measure to Gov. Sam Brownback, who's expected to sign it. The Senate approved the measure last week. The measure keeps the unions from deducting money from members' paychecks for political activities.
Proponents say the bill will protect members of public employee unions from having part of their pay funneled to candidates or causes they oppose.
They also say state and local government agencies processing payrolls shouldn't be entangled in such transactions.
Critics see the measure as an attempt to hinder fundraising by public employee unions. They also note that that union members sign off on any deductions from their paychecks.
Kansas House Approves Anti-Abortion Bill
The state House has given first-round approval to a bill that puts further restrictions on agencies that provide abortions and the women who access those services.
During its deliberations Tuesday, the House chose to keep language in the bill that directs doctors to talk with pregnant women about a now-debunked link between abortion and cancer.
Mission Hills Republican Barbara Boller had wanted to spell out in greater detail what information doctors would provide to pregnant woman. But the House voted against it 71 - 50.
Scientists convened by the National Cancer Institute in 2003 concluded abortion did not raise the risk of breast cancer.
Wounded Eagle Recovering At Kansas Raptor Center
A bald eagle that appears to have been shot is recovering from its wounds at Eagle Valley Raptor Center in Cheney.
Program director Ken Lockwood says quail hunters found the wounded eagle near Latham. Lockwood says the bird was missing several feathers from its left wing, and an x-ray revealed metal fragments in its thigh.
Staff at the raptor center are hopeful the eagle will recover. They've named the bird "Suzanne" after actress Suzanne Somers.
Congress To Take Up Eisenhower Memorial Controversy
The family of President Dwight D. Eisenhower is supporting new legislation in Congress to scrap the design and block funding for a planned memorial honoring the former president in Washington.
The future of the memorial was up for debate Tuesday as lawmakers questioned the project's design and its estimated $142 million.
Architect Frank Gehry has proposed a memorial park for Eisenhower with statues framed by large, metal tapestries depicting a Kansas landscape from his boyhood home in Abeline. Eisenhower's family has objected, calling it "too extravagant."