Kansas House and Senate moving toward income tax deal; Union paycheck bill signed by governor; Kansas economy slipped slightly in March.
Tax Negotiations Moving Slowly
Negotiators from the Kansas House and Senate report little progress in working out differences in income tax plans.
Union Paycheck Deduction Bill Signed Into Law
Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a bill into law that bars public employee unions in Kansas from deducting money from members' paychecks for political activities.
Proponents of the bill said government agencies should not be involved in processing payroll transactions to divert money from paychecks to political action committees. Opponents pointed out that union members in Kansas generally have to agree beforehand to any paycheck deductions.
Kansas is a right-to-work state, meaning workers cannot be forced to join unions or to pay union dues as a condition of employment.
Officials Address Concerns About Quarantining People With HIV
State health officials are working to quiet concerns that a bill would allow for the quarantine of people with HIV. The bill is nearing final approval in the Legislature.
Debunked Cancer Link Remains In Abortion Bill
The Kansas Senate has retained language in a bill that asks doctors to provide information to women before terminating their pregnancies about a debunked link between abortion and breast cancer.
Senators voted 28-10 Monday against an amendment from Kansas City Democrat Pat Pettey. Under the bill, doctors will have to inform women about potential risks associated with abortion, including breast cancer. Pettey's amendment would have struck the reference to breast cancer.
Scientists convened by the National Cancer Institute in 2003 concluded abortion did not raise the risk of breast cancer.
Kansas Economy Slipped Slightly In March
A monthly economic survey index for Midwestern states shows the Kansas economy slipped in March, but remains steady overall.
The Mid-America Business Conditions index surveys business leaders and supply managers. It uses a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Any score above 50 suggests growth while a score below 50 suggests decline. The survey found the Kansas overall index slipped to 52.0 in March, from 54.1 in February.
Manufacturers of durable- and nondurable-goods manufacturers experienced favorable conditions during the month. But transportation equipment producers and food processors showed little to no improvement during the period.