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Archive for Sunday, May 1, 2005

Highlights from the Kansas Legislature

May 1, 2005

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Highlights of Saturday's activities at the Kansas Legislature:

-- Legislators settled a dispute over government workers' pay raises and rejected the purchase of an Edwards County ranch, finishing an $11.4 billion state budget.

-- Local governments throughout the state would have the right to allow Sunday sales of alcohol under a compromise bill approved by the legislators.

Also:

-- Democrats asked the Kansas Supreme Court for a seat at the table at a May 11 hearing on the constitutionality of a $142 million school finance package.

-- Legislators approved a Republican-backed health care reform package, creating a new authority to oversee medical costs associated with several government programs.

-- The House voted 49-70 against considering a compromise worked out by negotiators to authorize construction of private prisons. Earlier in the day, the Senate approved it 26-13.

-- Legislators approved a one-time $125,000 death benefit each to the families of two Kansas National Guard members killed in Iraq, but the amount is half of what was once proposed.

Clock Has Stopped:

-- The Legislature's wrap-up lasted four days, ending on the 82nd calendar day, with 90 scheduled.

-- It was the shortest session since 1974, the last time the Kansas Constitution specified 60-day sessions in even-numbered years.

-- The Senate adjourned at 2:22 a.m. Sunday and the House, at 2:50 a.m.

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