Panel considers bill penalizing profiteers
Legislation cracking down on those who profiteer after a disaster was considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee, but not all members thought it was a good idea.
"I have serious doubts that we want this type of Big Brotherism," said Sen. Les Donovan, R-Wichita. "It flies in the face of free enterprise."
The committee took no vote Monday on the bill, which would amend the Consumer Protection Act to make it illegal to increase the price of necessary goods and services after a disaster is declared by the president, governor or local officials.
Violators would civil lawsuits from the attorney general or local prosecutor and could be fined if found guilty.
The bill is a response to some instances of the gasoline shooting to $5 a gallon at a few locations on Sept. 11.
The profiteering bill is SB 382.
Olathe representative won't seek re-election
Rep. John Toplikar, R-Olathe, plans to run for a position on the Johnson County Commission and give up his Kansas House seat.
Toplikar, 45, announced his plans Monday, saying time away from his family during legislative sessions was a factor in his decision. He has a 4-year-old son.
Toplikar was first elected to the House in 1992 and serves on its Appropriations, Local Government and Ethics and Elections committees.