Archive for Thursday, March 30, 2006

Highlights from the Kansas Legislature

March 30, 2006

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Highlights of Wednesday's activities at the Kansas Legislature:

¢ Efforts by House and Senate negotiators to agree on a bill mandating tougher penalties for sex offenders hit a bump because the measure includes provisions for private prisons, which some House members don't like.

¢ The Rev. Fred Phelps would have to use a large megaphone to be heard by those attending Kansas funerals of soldiers killed in combat under legislation gaining first-round approval in the House.

¢ Seven weeks after two victims' stories had legislative leaders promising to seek better protections from abuse for disabled and mentally ill Kansans, an effort to rewrite state law stalled.

¢ Senators prepared to debate education funding issues, with debate scheduled for Thursday on three competing school finance plans.

Also:

¢ Rep. Becky Hutchins, R-Holton, amended a bill to require officials to turn over to immigration officials the names of illegal immigrants convicted of driving under the influence or domestic abuse. The bill received tentative approval.

¢ The House gave first-round approval to a bill strengthening regulation over owners of bears, big cats and other exotic animals. The measure is a response to a teenager's death last year at a southeast Kansas wildlife sanctuary.

Clock is ticking:

Wednesday was the 76th day of the session, out of 90 scheduled.

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