New legislators learn the job
Here are today's headlines from Kansas government:
(Topeka Capital-Journal) Freshmen legislators get advice: Never tell a lie, avoid showboating and build alliances across party lines. That advice from a panel of veteran legislators Tuesday was offered to two dozen newcomers to the Legislature at an orientation session designed to prepare each for the 2007 session starting in January.
(Hutchinson News) KDOT on the road for roads: Southwest Kansas roadways, particularly U.S. 54, U.S. 50 and U.S. 83, need wider shoulders and additional lanes, even if they're just passing lanes, leaders from the area say. Kansas Department of Transportation officials are on a tour to gauge road needs around the state in anticipation of a new funding program for transportation projects.
(Harris News Service) Hispanics majority in Seward County: Hispanics are now the majority in Seward County, while minorities - notably Latinos - have replaced non-Hispanic whites as the majority in Ford County, according to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates for 2005.
(Kansas Health Institute commentary) Cancer coalition re-thinking plan to seek cigarette tax increase: The anticipated push for a higher Kansas cigarette tax by a coalition seeking funds for a cancer prevention initiative might not happen in the coming legislative session, according to the group's chairman. The Kansas Cancer Partnership wants $50 million to $60 million earmarked annually to pay for the state's Comprehensive Cancer Prevention and Control plan. The group was going to propose at least a 50-cent increase in the state's 79-cent-per-pack tax. But Dr. Gary Doolittle, the partnership's chairman and a professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center, said the coalition may not have laid sufficient groundwork to be successful in the coming session, which begins Jan. 8.
(LJW) Kansas climbs health ladder: Kansans are getting healthier. We smoke less and drive more safely. We're getting our children immunized, plus our workplaces are safer than they were at the beginning of the last decade. But the picture isn't all rosy.