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Legislature update…and other headlines: March 15, 2017

Some Kansas lawmakers want the state to take over the job of writing and making sure businesses comply with workplace regulations, despite concerns by a labor rights group that the change could water down safety oversight. Lawmakers and some business groups believe a state-run program approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration would ensure local control over regulation that has to be at least as effective as the federal program under current law.
Kansas legislators are advancing a new proposal to balance the budget. It would let the state pay its bills through June without cutting public school spending. The Senate Ways and Means Committee unanimously endorsed a bill that would temporarily short state contributions to public employee pensions and use internal government borrowing to get through June.
The Kansas Supreme Court is weighing an imprisoned convicted killer’s claims that investigators illegally seized his computer, leading to an additional prison term for child pornography. The defemse attorney in the case told the state’s high court the seizure of the computer during the homicide probe defied common sense. That man was sentenced in 2015 to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 50 years in the death of a woman back in 2011.
John Crutcher, a Republican Kansas state senator who later went on to serve as lieutenant governor for four years in the 1960s, has died. Crutcher died Monday at his home in Jefferson, North Carolina. He was a Kansas state senator from 1953 to 1957, then served as lieutenant governor for two two-year terms from 1964 through 1968. He later served 11 years on the federal Postal Rate Commission. John Crutcher was 100 years old.

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