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Archive for Thursday, March 27, 2003

State briefs

March 27, 2003

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Topeka

Higher speeds nixed for buses, some roads

Senators rejected a bill Wednesday to allow school buses to travel faster and raise the speed limit to 75 mph on four-lane divided highways.

The measure received tentative Senate approval Tuesday but was ultimately defeated on a 20-20 vote.

School buses currently may travel a maximum 55 mph. The bill, approved by the House last month, would let school buses travel at the posted speed on any road unless a local school board set a lower limit.

During debate Tuesday, senators added an amendment raising Kansas' 70 mph speed limit on four-lane divided highways to 75 mph.

Supporters of revising the law on school bus speeds said sometimes it was dangerous for the vehicles to travel 55 mph amid faster traffic, but opponents said the measure would make highways less safe.

Topeka

Court to review process for county treasurer

The Kansas Supreme Court will decide whether a Democrat or Republican succeeds former Shawnee County Treasurer Rita Cline.

Cline resigned earlier this month facing allegations of misusing nearly $22,000 in public funds and a civil lawsuit seeking to remove her from office.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ordered Gov. Kathleen Sebelius not to replace Cline until it rules on a petition by the Shawnee County Democratic Party and its nominee for county treasurer, Larry Wilson. Republicans have nominated Chearie Donaldson for the position.

State law provides that when a county official resigns, the precinct committee members of his or her party nominate a successor.

Cline won re-election as a Democrat in 2000 but became a Republican the following year. State law is not clear on which party affiliation governs in such a case.

Wichita

Mayor's wife enters race as write-in candidate

With less than a week left before the election, the wife of seven-term Mayor Bob Knight has entered the race to succeed her husband as a write-in candidate.

Jane Knight, who ran the Wichita office of former Gov. Bill Graves, said Wednesday she considered running for mayor in the primary, but decided against it after much discussion and prayer.

But, "as the weeks have gone by, I have had so many calls, so many people asking please step forward, we discussed it again and thought it through," she said.

Term limits prevented Bob Knight from seeking an eighth term in Tuesday's election.

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