Archive for Friday, December 22, 2006

Education, economy among top priorities

December 22, 2006

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— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Thursday said education, the economy, health care and energy would be among her top priorities during the legislative session that starts Jan. 8.

Supporting a solid school system is "the best way to keep this economic boon going," Sebelius said in an interview with the Lawrence Journal-World.

Sebelius didn't reveal many details during the interview. She will present specifics during her State of the State speech Jan. 10.

Starting her second term as the state's chief executive, Sebelius, a Democrat, also said she will push again for expanded casino gambling, an issue that has yet to gain traction in the Republican-dominated Kansas Legislature.

Sebelius said the state will fully fund the three-year, $466 million school finance plan, which resolved a long-running lawsuit.

When the plan was passed earlier this year, some said the state wouldn't be able to pay for it in the future. But recent economic surges have indicated it can be funded through current revenue collections.

In addition, Sebelius said she hoped to phase in full-day kindergarten, which already is in place in most school districts, but not in Lawrence.

She said she would again push for health insurance coverage of the approximately 15,000 Kansas children from birth to 5 years old who currently are uninsured.

Sebelius said her administration will have several proposals on energy conservation and lay out a plan to address the repairs needed at Kansas University and other higher education schools.

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