Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Capitol Report: Death penalty appeals, renewable energy standards

By SCOTT ROTHSCHILD, The Lawrence Journal-World


AFP ads blast renewable energy standards

The influential Americans for Prosperity is running television ads calling for the repeal of renewable energy standards in Kansas.

The ads tie in former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and President Barack Obama, and even toss in a picture of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, all Democrats.

Referring to the renewable standards, the ad states, "Like Obamacare, it's another government mandate we can't afford."

Passed in 2009, Kansas' renewable energy standards call for major utility companies to generate 15 percent of their energy through renewable sources by 2016 and 20 percent by 2020.

Coalition opposes appeals limits

The Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty is urging House members to oppose a Senate-approved bill that shortens the time for inmates to appeal death sentences.

The Senate adopted the measure 27-13.

The bill sets a 3 1/2 year time limit for appeals to be heard and decided by the Kansas Supreme Court.

Supporters say death penalty appeals take too long, while opponents said the bill will weaken the reliability of capital murder appeals.

Quote of the week:

"A strong majority of my members support laws that define traditional marriage, protect religious institutions, and protect individuals from being forced to violate their personal moral values. However, my members don't condone discrimination." Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, speaking against House Bill 2453.

What's next:

  • 7:15 a.m. Monday — Consideration of Kansas Board of Regents budget before Senate Ways and Means Education subcommittee, room 546-South.
  • 9 a.m. Tuesday — House Appropriations considers education budget; room 112-North.
  • 9 a.m. Tuesday — Hearing on House Bill 2577, allowing parents to remain anonymous when surrendering an infant under the newborn protection act, before House Children and Seniors Committee, room 218-North.
  • 9 a.m. Wednesday — Hearing on House Bill 2519, enacting the Kansas public employees retirement system defined contributions act, before House Pensions and Benefits Committee, room 152-South.
  • 8:30 a.m. — Presentation by U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp to the Senate Natural Resources Committee, room 159-South.