Government

Kansas House
5:51 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Health Care Compact Bill Advances In House

A House committee has advanced a bill aimed at exempting Kansas from the federal health care overhaul.

State Representative Brett Hildabrand, a Shawnee Republican, said that if the bill ends up passing, it could move Kansas towards gaining more control over federal health care programs.

“The broad federal approach tries to apply a cookie-cutter approach to every state. I believe that’s too broad and we need to put it back at the state level,” Hildabrand said.

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Kansas Senate
5:39 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Senate Advances No Call Expansion

The Kansas Senate has given first-round approval to a bill adding cellphone numbers to the state's no call law for telephone solicitors.

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Government
10:21 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Wichita Rep. Gail Finney Responds To Concerns Regarding 'Spanking Bill'

Due to the overwhelming response regarding proposed legislation clarifying corporal discipline, Representative Gail Finney of Wichita has released a statement to clarify her proposed bill.

Finney says while parental corporal discipline in Kansas has always been permitted in the state, it's never been defined in Kansas statute.

This omission has left the interpretation to administrative officials in the executive branch, law enforcement personnel, and the judicial branch.

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Government
10:50 am
Tue February 18, 2014

'Religious Freedom Bill' Faces Uncertain Future In Kansas Legislature

A bill that supporters say will preserve religious freedom now faces an uncertain future in the Kansas legislature.

Bill Proponents say it will protect individuals, businesses and religious groups from being involved in same-sex marriage ceremonies for religious reasons. Opponents say it's so broadly written that it offers legal protection for discrimination. The bill passed the Kansas House last week.

House Speaker Ray Merrick says that he would not put the bill up for a vote again if he could do it over. Merrick says the House will work with the Senate to amend the bill.

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Kansas Legislature
4:36 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

House Will Work With Senate On Same-Sex Marriage Bill

House Speaker Ray Merrick says if he had to do it over again, he would not have brought a controversial religious freedom bill up for a vote.

The bill would allow businesses, individuals and religious groups to refuse service or employment benefits to same-sex couples on religious grounds.

Critics of the legislation say it will allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.

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Government
10:15 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Susan Wagle: Majority Of Republican State Senators Don't Support 'Religious Freedom Bill'

Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle says her chamber is unlikely to pass a bill that would prevent lawsuits against someone who refuses, for religious reasons, to provide services to gay and lesbian people.

Wagle issued a statement Thursday night saying a majority of Republicans in the chamber don't support the bill.

The bill passed the House on Wednesday, drawing strong reaction from across the country.

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Kansas Budget
5:39 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

House Passes 2015 Prisons Budget

The Kansas House has approved the 2015 budget for the Department of Corrections, authorizing more than $390 million for state prisons and programs.

The bill passed 79-41 on Thursday, sending the measure to the Senate and restoring the funding that was vetoed last year by Gov. Sam Brownback.

The spending covers the fiscal year beginning July 1 and includes funding for additional corrections officers and increased health care costs.

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Government
10:01 am
Thu February 13, 2014

State House Will Soon Consider Bill That Strips Local Governments' Power To Regulate Guns

The full Kansas House could consider a bill soon that voids local government firearm regulations.

A House committee amended and approved the legislation yesterday.

The bill would keep local governments from regulating the open carry of firearms.

Committee members added a provision saying Kansans could carry a loaded gun in their vehicle anywhere in the state, without requiring a concealed weapons permit. Now, local governments can bar keeping a loaded gun on your seat or in your glovebox.

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Government
10:30 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Kansas House Advances 'Religious Freedom Bill'

The Kansas House of Representatives has advanced a controversial bill that supporters say will protect religious freedom.

The bill is seen as a preemptive strike, in case federal courts invalidate the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

The measure prohibits punishing individuals or religious institutions for choosing not to provide goods or services that would be used in same-sex marriages.

Supporters of the bill say it protects people who don't want to provide services for same-sex marriages or don't want to recognize the unions for religious reasons.

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Government
10:02 am
Wed February 12, 2014

UPDATE: House Committee Approves And Expands Bill To Void Local Gun Ordinances In Kansas

Update 11:49am Wednesday: The Federal and State Affairs expanded gun-rights legislation Wednesday before approving it. The committee's unanimous voice vote sends the measure to the House for debate, as early as next week. Under the expanded bill, Kansas residents would be able to carry loaded handguns in their vehicles.

The House Federal and State Affairs committee is taking up legislation Wednesday that would strip cities and counties of the power to regulate guns or block open carry.

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