Top Morning News 4.18.13
Regents plan to revisit concealed weapons policy; Brownback signs bill ending ban AIDS quarantine ban; Sierra Club irked at ozone monitor shutdown; Higher education budget under discussion.
Regents To Revisit Concealed Weapons Policy
The chairman of the Kansas Board of Regents expects the board to reconsider its policy banning concealed weapons on state university campuses.
Chairman Tim Emert said Wednesday the board will re-examine the policy because of a new law easing restrictions on concealed weapons in public buildings.
Gov. Sam Brownback signed the concealed carry legislation Tuesday. It takes effect in July.
Brownback Signs Bill Ending AIDS Quarantine Ban
Gov. Brownback has signed legislation that protects medical and emergency workers from infectious diseases.
The bill directs the state health department to write rules that make it easier for medical and emergency workers to find out if they've been exposed to diseases like Hepatitis B and C.
The provision repealing a 1988 law protecting AIDS and HIV patients from quarantine had faced strong criticism from gay rights advocates and civil libertarians.
The state health department promised legislators that its new rules would continue a ban, and critics accepted the changes.
Health department officials said that even without a ban, it would never be medically necessary to quarantine AIDS or HIV patients.
Sierra Club Irked At Ozone Monitor Shutdown
The Kansas Chapter of the Sierra Club says it's a mistake for the EPA to stop monitoring ozone pollution on the Konza prairie, near Manhattan.
Ozone concentrations there have been consistently higher than the level allowed under federal air quality standards.
Kansas Regents Discuss Higher Education Budget
Kansas higher education officials say funding cuts would hurt the quality and quantity of academic programs statewide.
Presidents of the six public universities told the Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday that proposals in the legislature to cut as much as 4 percent from their 2014 budgets would mean fewer course offerings and other campus programs.
Gov. Brownback says he wants to spare higher education from cuts in funding.
He's planning a state-wide tour of campuses to build support for his budget and will start with a visit to Wichita State on Monday.
Legislators are on a month-long break and will resume their budget negotiations when they return to the Statehouse on May 8.