Archive for Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Statehouse briefing: Bill would offer schools spanking immunity

February 7, 2007

Here are today's headlines from Kansas government:

(KTKA) Bill would give schools immunity for spanking: A good old-fashioned spanking for bad behavior in the classroom. "Just something to make sure their ears, that are once in awhile on their butt, are listening." That's Senator Phil Journey, who is sponsoring a bill that, with your permission, would give teachers the authority to spank without the fear of a lawsuit. Parents would be given a choice to sign a waiver, giving teachers that right.

(LJW) Increased tuition on the table: State lawmakers Tuesday considered numerous ways to pay for a backlog of repairs at universities, including allowing schools to increase tuition.

(KTKA) Drug company pushing vaccination requirement: If the proposal passes it would add the vaccination for Human Papilloma Virus, also known as HPV to the list of required vaccines. The Gardasil vaccination comes in a set of 3 shots. The total cost is about $360. And Merck owns the only FDA-approved cervical cancer vaccination.

(Wichita Eagle) Group protests payday loans: Led by a Wichita community action group, more than 200 people protested payday and car-title loans Tuesday in a loud rally in the Capitol rotunda.

(Harris News Service) Legislators seek tighter mercury requirements: Rep. Vaughn Flora, D-Topeka, says he probably won't get legislators to accept a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants in Kansas, but he'll try to boost monitoring of mercury emissions from the plants. Flora and a handful of other House members are working this week on a bill to add new monitoring sites for the air pollutant.

(Topeka Capital-Journal) Measure would give veterans tuition break: A bill that would give free college tuition to veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan could cost the state a total of $3.3 million, Diane Duffy, vice president of finance with the Kansas Board of Regents, said Tuesday.

(Topeka Capital-Journal) Seniors told budget demands high: A Statehouse rally by older Kansans who want to boost state spending for in-home services slipped into an impromptu primer Tuesday on the realities of state government budgeting.

(LJW) Anti-discrimination bill heard: Jeff Potter of Horton said everything seemed to be going well at his job as a machinist in a tool-and-die shop. He was even being groomed to buy the business. Then, the owner asked if he was homosexual, Potter told the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee on Tuesday. Potter said he answered that he was. Then, he said, he was fired. Potter and others testified Tuesday in favor of Senate Bill 163, which would prohibit discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation. State law already prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex, disability, family status and national origin or ancestry.

(Kansas Health Institute News Service) Kansas lawmaker undeterred by Arkansas BMI debate: The sponsor of Kansas legislation to address childhood obesity said she doesn't think that controversy surrounding an Arkansas obesity program will negatively affect her bill.

(LJW) Tax breaks for hybrid vehicles considered: With six children and a job in construction, state Rep. Anthony Brown, R-Eudora, said Tuesday that he hasn't found a hybrid vehicle to fit his lifestyle. But that doesn't mean he won't some day. Brown and state Rep. Tom Hawk, D-Manhattan, are pushing legislation that would give Kansans a $2,500 refundable state income tax credit if they purchase a hybrid vehicle.

(KC Star) Panel expected to endorse Rardin: Six lawmakers are expected to put their official stamp today on the election of Democrat Gene Rardin to the Kansas House from Johnson County's 16th District.

(Wichita Eagle) Thornburgh seeks primary flexibility: Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh asked a Senate panel on Tuesday for more flexibility in picking the best date for the 2008 Kansas presidential primary -- which might even include voting on a Saturday.

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