Archive for Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Statehouse briefing: Bill would require disclosure for school bus drivers

February 20, 2007

Here are today's headlines from Kansas government:

(KTKA) Bus driver records: A Sedgwick County couple, whose 10-year-old daughter was photographed by a school bus driver, pushes for legislation that would require private school bus companies to disclose driver information.

(Wichita Eagle) Spanking bill appears dead: A bill to make it easier to spank kids in school is facing suspension in the state Senate. The chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, Jean Schodorf, R-Wichita, and the bill's author, Phil Journey, R-Haysville, said they think the bill is done for, at least for the current session.

(LJW) State Equal Rights Amendment urged: A political movement from more than a generation ago has resurfaced in Kansas - an Equal Rights Amendment aimed at ensuring that women have the same constitutional rights as men.

(AP) `Alexa's Law' wins House approval: House members gave overwhelming approval Monday to a bill for protecting mothers-to-be and their fetuses, despite objections from some that the bill could have unintended consequences.

(Kansas Health Institute News Service) Disagreement arises over who pays for expanded newborn screening: Virtually everyone agrees that a bill to expand the number of disorders for which newborns are tested is good public policy. But disagreement has developed over how to pay for the new tests.

(Harris News Service) Moratorium on groundwater controls advances: A powerful state management tool for water-short areas in Kansas would be temporarily shut off if a cattlemen's group has its way at the Statehouse this session. A bill to place a moratorium on new or expanded Intensive Groundwater Use Control Areas, known as IGUCA's, is slated for a final House vote today.

(Topeka Capital-Journal) Barnett proposes `connector health plan': Saying that 300,000 Kansans were without insurance and it was time to set aside politics and partisan lines to solve a growing problem, Sen. Jim Barnett, R-Emporia, on Monday talked about his "connector health plan."

(LJW) Smorgasbord of options for university repairs: Tax increases, casino gambling, turnpike tolls and student fees were among a smorgasbord of possible solutions that a Senate task force proposed Monday to pay for major repairs at the state's six public universities.

(LJW) Proposal would eliminate political picks: Republicans on a Senate committee Monday recommended legislation that would prevent Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, from appointing someone to fill a U.S. Senate vacancy. And GOP members of the Elections and Local Government Committee appeared reluctant to accept measures that would prohibit elected officials from lobbying for two years after they leave office and require timely disclosure of campaign contributions in the final days of an election.

(Topeka Capital-Journal) Senator proposes moratorium on lobbyists: Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley's maneuver Monday to restrict transformation of state politicians into lobbyists ran into opposition among his Senate peers.

(Topeka Capital-Journal) House approves Blue Cross tax breaks: The possibility of Topeka and Kansas losing 325 jobs spurred the House to pass a bill Monday giving about $2 million in tax breaks to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. The insurance provider, with headquarters in Topeka, is bidding for a four-state Medicare contract that would bring at least 200 jobs to the area.

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