Monday, March 11, 2013

Capitol Report: Drones, guns and school finance

By SCOTT ROTHSCHILD, The Lawrence Journal-World

Drones would be grounded in Kansas

The national debate over the use of drones has hit the Kansas Legislature. House Bill 2394, introduced by state Rep. Travis Couture-Lovelady, R-Palco, would prohibit the operation of drones in Kansas while carrying a lethal payload.

Law enforcement agencies also would be prohibited from using a drone to collect evidence.

But the bill would allow drones to counter a potential terrorist attack "provided, the United States department of homeland security has determined that credible intelligence indicates that there is such a risk of a terrorist attack, and a search warrants has been obtained for use of such a drone."

Bill targets public funds to advocate for gun control

A bill backed by the NRA that would prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to advocate for gun control is headed to the full Senate.

The Senate Ethics, Elections and Local Government Committee approved Senate Bill 45 last week. The measure would prohibit the use of public funds to advocate for gun restrictions at the local, state or federal levels.

The bill was supported by the NRA, Kansas State Rifle Association and other gun rights advocates, who argued that taxpayer funds shouldn't be used to lobby for restrictions on legal products.

School finance conference

Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss will conduct a telephone conference with attorneys today (Monday) in the school finance lawsuit.

The state is appealing a ruling from a three-judge panel that the Legislature has failed to adequately fund schools and ordered a $440 million increase.

At the request of Gov. Sam Brownback and Attorney General Derek Schmidt, the state Supreme Court ordered the parties to enter into mediation to see if the case could be resolved.

The court told the sides to agree on a mediator or the justices would appoint one. That issue will probably be discussed today.

Quote of the week:

"If we're having people in our education system, I don't want them involved in any way, shape or form or manner in killing children, killing babies."

State Rep. Allan Rothlisberg, R-Grandview Plaza, speaking against an amendment to an abortion bill that would allow people who work with abortion providers to volunteer in classrooms.

What's next:


8:30 a.m. — Economic impact of immigration in Kansas before Senate Commerce Committee, room 548-South.

9 a.m. — Final action on state budget before House Appropriations, room 112-North.

1:30 p.m. — Briefing on Kansas University Medical Center before joint meeting of Senate and House health committees, room 546-South.


8 a.m. — Final action on state budget before House Appropriations, room 112-North.