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Archive for Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Statehouse Live: Roberts, Brownback say GITMO detainess not going to Leavenworth

September 16, 2009, 9:32 a.m. Updated September 16, 2009, 11:38 a.m.

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11:40 a.m.

Kansas' U.S. senators said today that after speaking with Obama administration officials, they are confident that detainees from Guantanamo Bay will not be transferred to Fort Leavenworth.

Sens. Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback, both Republicans, had placed a legislative hold on several of President Obama's appointees, saying they wanted assurances that under the administration's plan to close Guantanamo Bay prison, it would not be transferring any of the detainees to Leavenworth.

After speaking with senor administration officials, the two senators announced today that they are removing their holds on Defense Department and Justice Department nominees.

"We are confident that because of this good faith dialogue, detainees will not be transferred to Fort Leavenworth," the senators said in a statement.

11:25 a.m.

State Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, R-Independence, today said he will run for Kansas attorney general in 2010.

Earlier this summer, Schmidt said he would run for secretary of state.

But in a news release, Schmidt said he believes he can make the greatest difference for Kansas as attorney general.

Schmidt’s departure from the Republican contest for secretary of state leaves two GOP candidates in that race - J.R. Claeys and Kris Kobach.

No other Republican has announced an intention to run for the party nomination for attorney general. Should Schmidt win the GOP primary, he would likely face the current attorney general, Steve Six, a Democrat.

Related document

Kansas Economic Report ( .PDF )

9 a.m.

An increase in the number of unemployed Kansans has resulted in an increase in the number of unemployment compensation cases in which there is a question of eligibility for jobless benefits, according to the Kansas Department of Labor.

In July, there were approximately 10,000 people who filed for unemployment benefits whose cases were in adjudication to settle whether they were entitled to those benefits. That is more than double the number in July 2008.

To help handle this increased backlog, state labor officials have streamlined the online application for benefits and hired more adjudicators who handle disputed claims.

The backlog of cases means that jobless Kansans, who normally would have to wait three weeks for a disputed claim to be settled, may now have to wait two months.

The current state unemployment rate is 7.7 percent.

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