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A proposed bill in the Kansas legislature is creating a fierce debate over adoption rights for same-sex couples. If passed, HB 2481 means faith-based adoption agencies wouldn’t be required to place a foster or adopted child into a home that violates the agency’s sincerely held religious beliefs.Adoption advocates fear the new law would make it difficult for LGBT couples to adopt children in Kansas. “What this bill does is it legalizes discrimination,” said Lori Ross, CEO of Foster Adopt Connect.
Kansas legislators approved a fix for a new education funding law Monday that would prevent public schools from losing $80 million in new funds they’ve been promised to meet a court mandate, and lawmakers also turned their attention to adding money to other parts of the state budget. The Senate approved the follow-up school finance bill , 30-8, to make sure that the law enacted in early April phases in a $534 million increase in education funding as intended. The House had approved the measure Saturday, and it now goes to Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer, who promised to sign it.
Kansas House lawmakers approved an updated $16 billion budget proposal Saturday on a 92-24 vote as they worked through part of the weekend. The bill amends the spending plans lawmakers approved last year, and includes some targeted increases in state government funding. It partially restores cuts to higher education from 2016, at a cost of $12 million. It also allocates $8 million to provide raises to workers in the judicial branch. The bill funnels more money into the state’s pension plan, KPERS, to make up for a missed $194 million payment. Those spending choices come about a year after...
The Kansas House overwhelmingly approved legislation Saturday enabling the Kansas State Fair to retain an estimated $290,000 annually in retail sales tax revenue generated at the Hutchinson exposition for use on deferred building maintenance. Action on the bill was complicated by House debate on three amendments, derailed one after another, to lower the statewide sales tax rate on food.
Republican leadership promised to compel a House vote Friday on a state government budget bill that would serve as rebuttal to a Senate appropriations bill and begin movement on one of the major issues left unresolved at the Capitol. Modification of the $6 billion-plus state budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 stood as one of the key issues hanging when the Legislature reconvened Thursday for the wrap-up portion of the annual session.
The Kansas Supreme Court issued an order Wednesday altering deadlines for submitting legal briefs in an education finance case due to an error in the five-year, $525 million funding bill narrowly passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Jeff Colyer. Chief Justice Lawton Nuss signed the order granting Attorney General Derek Schmidt and lawyers for the four plaintiff school districts until May 7 to deliver initial briefs and until May 14 to submit rebuttal briefs. Schmidt requested revision of the schedule in the long-running Gannon case.
Gov. Jeff Colyer surprised House and Senate budget committee members Wednesday with a proposal to use unanticipated tax revenue to make an $82 million payment to the state pension system and earmark more cash for social services, disaster aid and computer upgrades. The governor recommended the Legislature amend a law delaying $194 million in payments to the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. Instead of completely sidestepping that contribution, the governor said, the state should limit the deferral to $112 million.