Topeka Gov. Kathleen Sebelius signed bills Thursday repairing small but significant flaws in state statutes on certain traffic fatalities and on purchases of fire hydrants.
One of the bills stemmed from the Kansas Supreme Court's January decision ordering a new sentencing for Scott E. Manbeck, who had been sentenced to 13 years in prison for a fatal drunken driving wreck in Allen County in 2001.
At issue was a 1996 statute intended to provide extra prison time if a defendant commits involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and has a previous DUI conviction.
The court noted that the statute actually referred to driving under the influence of alcohol "and" drugs. The court said Manbeck should have been sentenced to less than four years because his crime did not match that description. The bill eliminates the "and" problem.
Sebelius also signed a bill clarifying that county fire districts may use tax dollars to buy, install and maintain hydrants. A 2002 legal opinion from the attorney general's office had said such purchases were improper.