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Kansas news digest

News from alternative media around Kansas for March 5, 2010.

Teacher Tenure Under Review In Effort to Reduce School Costs

(State of the State KS) “A House committee heard testimony on a bill Wednesday that would lengthen the period of time public school teachers must work to five years before eligible for tenure.”

KPERS Committee Considers Early Retirement for Employees To Save Money

(State of the State KS) “The House KPERS committee considered a bill Tuesday that would encourage early retirement for some government workers to save costs.”

Kansas Democrats Focus on 2010 Elections at Washington Days

(State of the State KS) “Kansas Democrats gathered to celebrate and campaign at Friday and Saturday’s Washington Days in Topeka.”

Smoking ban proponents pull out bag of tricks to get bill passed, casino exemption included

(Kansas Liberty) “In the near future, Kansas residents will be forced to comply with a statewide smoking ban, which has received the support of both chambers of the Kansas Legislature. Today, the House voted 68-54 to concur with the conference committee agreement reached between select members of the House and the Senate.”

Day-care bill puts too much government in the home, opponents say

(Kansas Liberty) “Tammi Hill, owner of the Peace of Mind Home Child Care Center in Olathe, has been brought to tears of frustration over a new piece of legislation which is currently in the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee. Senate Bill 447 would create several new restrictions for day care providers, including regulations on how long children can take using the bathroom, how long a provider can speak with a parent, and how long a provider can spend with any inspector that may drop by the ensure the care center is in compliance with regulations.”

Cigarette tax increases reported to bring negative outcomes

(Kansas Liberty) “Americans for Prosperity-Kansas has launched a new web page dedicated to informing Kansas residents about how an increased cigarette tax could cost the state revenue, instead of bringing in additional revenue as suggested by the Democrats.”

Wichita School Board Attempts to Explain Budget, Seeks Priorities

(Kansas Watchdog) “About 400 people attended a Board Night Out at Wichita’s West High School Monday evening. A similar number attended another forum at Wichita’s Southeast High School. USD259 Wichita Board of Education President Barbara Fuller, board member Lanora Nolan and Superintendent John Allison attended the West High gathering and offered their assessments of the decisions facing the district because of the ongoing state budget crisis.”

Tiahrt, Others Exonerated in Ethics Probe

(Kansas Watchdog) “The Associated Press is reporting that Kansas Congressman Todd Tiahrt has been exonerated in an ethics probe of his connections with defense lobbying firm PMA and its clients. The probe found no violations by Tiahrt or five other members of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. The late John Murtha (D-Pa.) topped the list of who received large donations from PMA Group and its clients and steered earmarks to PMA clients.”

Kansas revenues sag deeper into crisis territory

(Kansas Reporter) “TOPEKA, Kan. – February’s $71 million tax collection shortfall dropped Kansas revenues for the month deeper into budget crisis territory, legislative researchers reported Thursday.”

Kansas’ bid for federal school money rejected

(Kansas Reporter) “TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas’ first round application for a slice of $4.35 billion in new federal education stimulus money has been rejected, but education officials say they plan to try again in a second round next June. The Kansas State Department of Education said it learned Thursday that it is not among 16 finalists selected to receive grants under the Obama administration’s Race to the Top plan for educational reform.”

Kansas tax committee sends $169 million increase to House

(Kansas Reporter) “TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas House Taxation Committee members reluctantly voted Tuesday to raise $169 million in new taxes by requiring homeowners and renters to a pay 5.3 percent sales tax on their water, electric and natural gas bills that are now tax-exempt.”

Costly Kansas tax credit needs more money, panel told

(Kansas Reporter) “TOPEKA, Kan. – A controversial business tax credit once flagged as a drain on Kansas’ budget needs more money to help create jobs in Kansas, backers told a Kansas House Taxation committee Wednesday. Opponents, however, argued that removing a state lid on Kansas Historical Preservation tax credits, which last year were lopped by more than half their previous levels, would perpetuate the inefficient use of taxpayer money and give the recipients an unfair advantage over competitors who aren’t similarly subsidized.”

Foster care system criticized, defended

(Kansas Health Institute News Service) “Sadie Carpenter said no one ever told her why she and her husband weren’t allowed to adopt their great granddaughter. Marilyn Dilley said she and her husband were never told why they couldn’t adopt a boy they’d cared for as foster parents.”

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