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Top Morning News

Top Morning News 4.3.13


Wichita and Sedgwick County election results are in; Anti-abortion legislation passes in Senate; Drug testing bill ready for Gov's signature; Ogallala Aquifer group to meet; Prison art on display at Statehouse.

Close Races For Wichita City Council, School Board

Wichita and Sedgwick county elections were held Tuesday. Wichita saw close races in for both City Council and School Board.


Kansas Senate Approves Sweeping Anti-Abortion Legislation

The Kansas Senate has approved new restrictions on abortion providers. The sweeping piece of legislation is close to final passage.


Senate Approves Bill Barring Local Wage Rules

The Senate approved a bill Tuesday that keeps cities and counties from requiring that contractors pay union-scale wages.

See HB 2069

The bill would keep local governments from requiring private firms to pay employees more than the federal minimum wage for work on public contracts. It's aimed at local policies that require contractors to pay prevailing wages, or what the majority of workers in the area are paid.

The federal Department of Labor sets those rates, and critics say they're often based on union scales.

Republicans say the bill would reduce the cost of public projects and that the market should set pay rates. Democrats say prevailing wage policies don't boost costs and ensure workers earn a decent living. 

The 31-9 vote Tuesday sends the measure to the House.

Drug Testing Bill Awaits Gov's Signature

One bill on its way to Gov. Brownback's desk will require Kansas residents who receive welfare and unemployment benefits to submit to drug testing.


Ogallala Aquifer Committee To Hold Meeting

The Ogallala Aquifer Advisory Committee plans to use its first meeting of 2013 to look at short- and long-term options for the declining Kansas aquifer and its users.

The meeting is scheduled Monday at 10 a.m. in Scott City at the Scott County Library.

Enhanced management updates by each groundwater management district top the agenda. There will also be discussion of potential future changes to the multi-year flex account program that allows producers to better manage water use during drought years.

The Kansas Water office is holding similar meetings, TBD.

Prison Art To Be On Display At The Kansas Statehouse

More than 50 artworks by Kansas prison inmates will be displayed soon at the Statehouse.

The works will be on display for a week, starting beginning Friday, on the second floor of the Capitol in Topeka.

A spokesman for the state Corrections Department says the first exhibition drew positive comments on the quality of the works and the importance of allowing inmates to express themselves creatively.