Statehouse briefing: Legislature considers immigration measures
Here are today's headlines from Kansas government:
(KC Star) Legislature takes up immigration measures: Five-year-old Kristian Guzman didn't have a visa when he entered the U.S. with his parents. Now he's a Wichita high school student, and he wants to go to college in Kansas.
His plans may change if lawmakers pass a bill denying public benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid or in-state college tuition to illegal immigrants. It's one of a slew of efforts to get a handle on the rising tide of immigration into Kansas, legal and illegal.
(AP) Senate adopts $23.3 million tax cut: Senators approved 14 of the 16 tax bills on their agenda Wednesday, providing $23.3 million in relief to individuals and corporations in the next fiscal year, but sent the bulk of the cuts back for more review. The measures adopted - some of which cut taxes over the next three years - included incentives for investment in new businesses and job creation, as well as providing some homeowners with property tax relief. The bills now go to the House.
(Harris News Service) Senate seeks to change campaign solicitation law: Senators voted Wednesday to alter a law restricting when lawmakers and other state officers can ask for money from special interests.
(Wichita Eagle) Gambling debate likely Friday: The House of Representatives expects to debate a new gambling law by week's end.
(LJW) Health care changes urged: A bipartisan group Wednesday outlined health care proposals that supporters said would set the stage for broader reforms in 2008.
(Kansas Health Institute News Service) Obesity task force sought: A bill creating a task force to come up with a "comprehensive state plan" for combating childhood obesity gained tentative approval in the House on Wednesday.
(Harris News Service) Sides debate voter ID proposal: State officials can't cite occasions when non-citizens have faced prosecution for illegally casting ballots in Kansas elections
(LJW) Time running out to pay for university repairs: To pay for a backlog of repairs at Regents universities, some lawmakers have floated proposed increases in tuition, taxes and turnpike tolls. All have met strong opposition.
(LJW) Doctors seek exemption from consumer law: Attorney General Paul Morrison, victims of medical malpractice and plaintiff's lawyers on Wednesday criticized legislation that would exempt health care professionals from the law that allows consumers to sue over deceptive practices.
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(AP) Budget bills in conference committee: Pay raises for government workers and funding for a presidential primary in February 2008 are among the biggest issues facing House and Senate negotiators as they draft the final version of a bill containing most of the next state budget.
(KTKA) Retired judges can serve again under new law: Thursday, Governor Kathleen Sebelius signed a bill that allows retired judges to serve again. It's all part of an effort to strengthen a state commission responsible for judicial performance.
(KC Star) Johnson County projects considered: Three major Johnson County projects, including a recently proposed bioscience research triangle, could be in trouble in Topeka with less than two weeks left in the regular session.