Lawmakers in Kansas leave big questions open
Legislators push to end session with budget issues still unsettled.
| Kansas lawmakers worked late into the night Tuesday to end the regular part of their 2010 session, but put off the year’s most challenging decisions.
Lawmakers hoped to leave the statehouse after taking final votes on dozens of bills. The big issues — solutions to the state’s budget crisis — will languish until a brief wrap-up session that begins April 28. Among actions Tuesday:
The Senate passed legislation requiring physicians to provide the specific diagnoses used to justify late-term abortions. The House was set to vote about 11 p.m. to send the measure to Democratic Gov. Mark Parkinson.
Abortions after the 22nd week of pregnancy are illegal in Kansas unless two physicians say continuing the preg- nancy would cause serious harm to the mother. Lawmakers opposed to abortion rights have long alleged that abortion providers use vague or bogus diagnoses to justify late-term abortions.
It’s similar to a bill vetoed last year by then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.
A Senate committee endorsed a plan to raise the state sales tax from 5.3 to 5.6 percent to fund a new transportation plan. The bill’s fate is uncertain so late in the session since it has yet to pass either chamber.
Both chambers signed off on legislation giving journalists limited protection from subpoenas seeking the identity of confidential sources. The socalled reporter’s shield law now heads to Parkinson’s desk.
The bill would allow journalists to ignore subpoenas unless a judge ruled that it was necessary for them to disclose their source. To reach David Klepper, call 785-354-1388 or send e-mail to dklep[email protected]star.com.
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