Statehouse briefing: Legislature wraps up 2007 session
Here are today's headlines from Kansas government:
(LJW) Sebelius considers cigarette tax increase: Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday that she may push again for a state cigarette tax increase to expand health care to the uninsured.
(LJW) Casino process goes forward: As lawmakers Wednesday ended the legislative session that will always be known as the breakthrough session for gambling, state leaders approved procedures to get four new casinos in Kansas.
(LJW) KUMC proviso still up in the air: Gov. Kathleen Sebelius declined Wednesday to say whether she would again veto a measure that puts restrictions on Kansas University Medical Center's efforts to work with St. Luke's Hospital.
(AP) Spending concerns follow budget: Legislators finished a $12.5 billion budget before ending their annual session Wednesday, but some of them don't think the state can sustain the spending, even for another two years.
(KTKA) Proviso proliferation causes worries: Lawmakers agreed on a final spending bill Wednesday, but the bill covers a lot more than the budget. It includes more than 20 separate provisos. That's a term for additional pieces of legislation not related to state spending.
(Harris News Service) Photo voter fails to develop: The clock ran out Wednesday on a bill requiring most Kansans under age 65 to show photo identification to vote.
(Kansas Health Institute News Service) Lack of revenue may shortchange health care: According to projections based on the state's newly passed budget, spending in Fiscal 2008 will outpace revenues by more than $526 million and the State General Fund's ending balance will drop to 5.3 percent rather than the preferred 7.5 percent.
(Wichita Eagle) Wichita gets its funding at last moment: It took until the last bill on the last day of the legislative session, but Wichita lived up to its billboard slogan and "got the goods" for Wichita State University aviation research and the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.
(LJW) KU prof to help attorney general: Kansas University law professor Stephen McAllister will serve as the solicitor general for the state, Attorney General Paul Morrison announced Wednesday.