Government

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Some Kansas lawmakers want more detailed information provided to women who seek an abortion. The Kansas House has advanced a bill that requires abortion providers to disclose additional details about a physician’s credentials, insurance and any disciplinary actions against them. It also says physicians must disclose if they have clinical privileges at any hospitals within 30 miles.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas House and Senate negotiators have reached a compromise to balance the current year’s budget without cuts to state services. They have been facing a shortfall for the budget year ending in June of nearly $300 million.

The budget agreement would delay a payment into the Kansas pension plan, KPERS. It would also borrow some money from a state investment fund.

Stephen Koranda

The Kansas House Appropriations Committee has rejected giving pay raises to most state employees. Democratic Rep. John Alcala proposed the raises as part of a budget plan because some state employees haven’t had a pay increase for nearly 10 years.

The chairman of the committee, Republican Troy Waymaster, said with lawmakers facing a budget deficit, there simply isn’t enough money.

“We would like to do something for state employees. Is this the right time? In my opinion, no it’s not,” Waymaster says.

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Early voting is underway in Sedgwick County for Kansas’ 4th Congressional District special election, and with it comes the introduction of new voting machines.

Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman says citizens will still have an option to vote either by paper ballot or electronically.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Updated Tuesday at 10:41 a.m.

Buoyed by the failure of Republicans in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Kansas Senate on Tuesday gave final approval to a Medicaid expansion bill in a 25-14 vote.

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The Kansas House has given first-round approval to a bill lowering penalties for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Republican Rep. Blaine Finch says lawmakers lowered penalties for first-time marijuana possession last year, but didn’t lower penalties for paraphernalia. That means people could face harsher sentences for possession of a pipe than for possession of marijuana.

“It does keep it at a crime. There is a potential jail sentence," he says. "It just makes it proportional with the possession of the underlying drug."

sedgwickcounty.org

Sedgwick County has released its first strategic plan in more than 20 years. The plan outlines the county’s priorities and sets goals for the next five years.

The 12-page plan from the Sedgwick County manager’s office establishes the county’s new mission and explains its organizational values.

The county says it wants to be a “value driven, regional leader” that uses partnerships to deliver services to the public.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

The Kansas Senate is likely to debate a budget proposal this week, and House lawmakers could also make progress on their spending plan. But there’s one hitch: Both budgets are unbalanced.

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The Kansas House has given first-round approval to a bill that opens the door to growing industrial hemp.

Republican Rep. Willie Dove says people have confused hemp with marijuana. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana, and hemp does not have enough THC to get a person high.

Dove says industrial hemp could give farmers a new, profitable crop to grow.

“But yet they’ve been held back just because of ignorance of what the product really is,” Dove says.

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