A roundup of legislative issues and how they fared in Topeka
|By Brad Cooper, The Kansas City Star|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The bill doesn't limit coverage for age and hours of treatment for other autism services. The new mandate would apply initially only to insurance plans offered before the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010 and only to businesses with more than 50 employees. Gov.
Guns: In a move that would ensure firearms can be carried openly statewide, lawmakers passed a bill that cancels out city and county gun restrictions. The bill would affect
Religious freedom: A bill that would have shielded anyone refusing to provide service to same-sex couples on religious grounds died in the face of an avalanche of national criticism. While supporters said the bill was intended only to protect the religious freedoms of anyone who didn't want to provide services to a same-sex marriage, critics said its reach was much broader and was tantamount state-sanctioned discrimination against gay couples. The bill passed the House but
Wind energy: For the second straight year, wind energy advocates successfully fought off attempts to repeal the state's renewable energy standards. The standards require utilities to generate 20 percent of their power from renewable resources by 2020. Enacted in 2009, the standards grew out of the debate to build a new coal-fired power plan in southwest in
Snakes: Efforts to remove the redbelly and the smooth earth snake from the state's threatened species list have failed so far in
Lesser prairie chicken: A bill aimed at stopping the federal government from protecting the lesser prairie chicken has advanced through the
The bill is a response to the federal government's recent decision to list the bird as "threatened," meaning that it could soon be in danger of extinction. A key issue to the bill is an original provision declaring it a felony for federal workers to try to regulate the chicken. A House committee struck the felony provision after it was passed by the
Fluoride: A bill requiring cities and other local governments to issue warnings that they fluoridate their water supplies died in a committee after it was roundly denounced by public health officials. The bill declared that fluoride was dangerous and said more studies were needed. The bill died in a committee.
Sex education: A bill that requires parental consent for students to take human sexuality courses passed out of a House Committee. It awaits action in the
Schools: The legislature passed a bill intended to resolve a
Elections: A bill moving city and school board to elections to the fall of odd-numbered years from the spring of odd-numbered years is still sitting awaiting action by the full House. The goal of holding primary elections in August followed by general elections in November was to boost voter turnout. The bill passed out of a committee but its future is highly doubtful.
Mortgage fees: A bill eliminating a nearly 100-year-old fee to register a mortgage is sitting in a House committee after it was passed by the
Party switching: The game is going to become harder for Democrats who want to pretend they're Republicans so they can try to influence the GOP Primary. The governor signed into law a bill that bars voters from changing political party from
Surrogate pregnancy: A bill pushed by state Sen.
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