Topeka — Brownback declines to state position on lesser prairie chicken bill
Gov. Sam Brownback has decided to sue the federal government over the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department's decision to list the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species.
But Brownback declined to say how he felt about a bill that could reach his desk that would assert state sovereignty over nonmigratory wildlife, declare null and void any federal law in Kansas on the lesser prairie chicken, and allow state officials to charge federal officials with a felony if a federal official tried to enforce a federal law dealing with the lesser prairie chicken.
"We're looking at it. We'll see," Brownback said when asked to comment on Senate Bill 276, which has passed the Senate and is pending in the House.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has testified in support of the bill, saying it would likely lead to a legal battle pitting state rights against federal law.
Legislator says renewable energy standards will increase electric rates by 40 percent
During debate last week in the House on a bill to repeal the state's renewable energy standards, state Rep. Marc Rhoades, a Newton Republican and chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, claimed that the standards would increase Kansans' electric rates by 40 percent.
That produced loud groans from supporters of the standards, and an angry rebuke from Rhoades who said he didn't appreciate being interrupted while he spoke.
Supporters of the renewable standards point to a state report that says the mandate has increased rates by two-fifths of one cent
The measure to repeal the standards was defeated.
Quote of the week:
"They're not undocumented workers. They're illegal aliens." State Rep. Allan Rothlisberg, R-Grandview Plaza, speaking on his unsuccessful bill amendment that would have required schools to record students' immigration status.
9 a.m. Monday — Hearing on HB 2774, Republican House leadership school finance bill, before House Appropriations Committee. Opponents will testify. Room 112-North.
1:30 p.m. Monday — Confirmation hearings on several appointments, including state Sen. Pat Apple, R-Louisburg, to the Kansas Corporation Commission. Before Senate Confirmation Oversight Committee, room 548-South.
9 a.m. Tuesday — Hearing on HB 2774, Republican House leadership school finance bill, before House Appropriations Committee. Supporters will testify. Room 112-North.
1 p.m. Tuesday — Hearing on House Bill 2553, establishing health care compact, before Senate Federal and State Affairs, room 144-South.