Kansas House leader: No debate on religious objections bill

? Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick says he’s not planning to have his chamber debate a bill aimed at protecting college religious groups that want to limit their membership.

Merrick said Wednesday that the House must concentrate on closing a budget shortfall and drafting a plan to raise new revenues.

The Stilwell Republican’s comments came hours after the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups said during a news conference that the bill would force state colleges to financially support discrimination.

The bill would prohibit state colleges from refusing to provide resources to groups for requiring members to profess certain religious beliefs or adhere to a faith-based code of conduct.

Supporters say the measure ensures that groups can operate in line with their beliefs. The Senate passed it last month.