Bill could leave teachers vulnerable to obscenity charges
(Topeka Capital-Journal) Obscenity bill aimed at teachers: Kansas school teachers possess legal protection in state law from criminal charges of promoting obscenity as long as educational materials used in class are of serious academic value. Rep. Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe, is leading an effort in the Legislature to chip away at this significant but obscure educational exception in criminal statute. His motivation is potential harm to minors if a teacher exposes children to a novel, play, film or textbook with content determined by a community to fit the definition of obscene.
(LJW) Senate urges teens to buckle up: When Daniel Green gets behind the wheel of a car, he knows the drill: He's supposed to buckle up. However, the teenager said if he knew he had to wear it or a police officer could pull him over and give him a hefty fine, he wouldn't be so lax. The Kansas Senate knows this, too. On a 30-10 vote, the Senate approved a bill, SB 211, that would make failing to wear a seat belt a primary offense for drivers and passengers ages 14 through 17 in Kansas, punishable with a $60 fine.
(Harris News Service) Water wars prevail: House and Senate leaders both hail from agricultural areas reliant on the declining Ogallala Aquifer. Yet their views differ on the state's role in water conservation efforts.
(Topeka Capital-Journal) Sebelius answers questions on C-SPAN: Gov. Kathleen Sebelius told a national television audience Sunday that the war in Iraq requires a political solution, and heavy deployment of Kansas National Guard soldiers has created equipment shortages in the state. Sebelius, chairwoman of the Democratic Governors Association, answered questions from viewers on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" program about war, wind energy, college tuition, rock music and her own political future.
(Wichita Eagle) Ups and downs during legislative first-half: It's halftime at the Kansas Legislature. If you were rooting for a higher minimum wage, limits on payday loans or opening the records of privately run school bus companies, then you've probably thrown away your pennants and are eyeing the exit. If you're a fan of business tax cuts, fetal protection or campaign reform, you'll probably want to stick around for the fourth quarter.
(LJW) Capitol briefing: Republicans and Democrats seeking legislation aimed at getting health coverage to some of the 300,000 uninsured Kansans say their attempts are being frustrated by the insurance industry ... At the midpoint of the 2007 legislative session, Lawrence Sens. Marci Francisco, a Democrat, and Roger Pine, a Republican, said the Legislature has made some progress on energy legislation ... Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, explained last week that he used to be opposed to expanded gambling in Kansas, but sees the benefits casinos are having in other states.
(Harris News Service) Lawmakers tout vo-tech: Improving technical education in the state could help pull more people into higher-paying jobs and out of poverty, House Minority Leader Dennis McKinney, D-Greensburg, says.
(KTKA) Tax change could lure pet food plant: Members of the state Senate say a corporate income tax break could help lure a new, multimillion-dollar manufacturing plant.
(LJW Podcast) The Capitol Report: Scott Rothschild and Gena Terlizzi take stock of the 2007 Kansas Legislature at the midpoint, highlighting bills that are still alive, those that are dead -- and what it all means for Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' future political ambitions.