Archive for Monday, February 19, 2007

Obesity bill undergoing changes

February 19, 2007

(Kansas Health Institute News Service) Student obesity proposal removes BMI: A bill aimed at measuring the extent of the state's childhood obesity problem has been re-tooled. "After visiting with others on the committee and after listening to those who testified against the bill, I've come to realize that to get the basic BMI (body mass index) information I'll have to eliminate the physical fitness-test requirement," said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Pat Colloton, R-Leawood.

(Wichita Eagle) Lawmaker proposes tax on non-citizens: A Coffey County legislator wants to impose a 3 percent payroll tax on non-citizens to pay for bilingual and other educational expenses. The idea is drawing outrage from a Hispanic legislator and others who work on immigration issues.

(LJW) Lawrence in legislative crosshairs: When someone in the Legislature says, "There goes Lawrence again," Barbara Ballard doesn't back down. "We are proud of the fact that we support the rights of all people," said Ballard, a Democratic legislator from Lawrence. It's no secret that Lawrence, the seat of Douglas County, marches to the beat of a different political drummer compared with the rest of Kansas.

(LJW) Election official seeks help for poll workers: Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew wants the Kansas Legislature to allow election polling place workers to be able to work split shifts.

(LJW) Capitol Briefing: It appears a proposed statewide smoking ban may be dead for the 2007 legislative session, and Lawrence bar and restaurant owners may have helped snuff it out ... Lawmakers looking to get smart on prisons ... Business benefiting from tax breaks.

(AP) Proposed shield law faces uphill battle: New ideas often are a hard sell for legislators. A case in point is shield law legislation languishing in the Senate. The intent is simple: protecting reporters from having to reveal their sources for stories.

(Harris News Service) Rules chairman helps decide disagreements: He doesn't make the rules, he just enforces them. Yet House Rules Chairman Clark Shultz, R-Lindsborg, admits that can be a challenging task. Entering his third year in the post, Shultz finds himself making rulings that can often determine whether a controversial issue gets debated on the House floor.

(Topeka Capital-Journal) Bill would help with crime cleanup: Don McNulty would know. He has been in the crime scene cleanup business for 23 years and knows how much it costs to remove blood from concrete or a deadly odor from carpet. The average bill he hands out? $2,000. In Kansas, that cost falls to the property owners, often the family of the deceased. For the victims' families, that cost can take a toll. "No one should be victimized twice," he said. Now proposed legislation in Kansas could change that. A bill passed by the House Judiciary Committee last week would offer up to $1,000 to those responsible for the mess left behind.

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