Kansas lawmaker leaves loaded handgun in public committee room…and other headlines: January 27, 2017

A Kansas legislator confirms that he left a loaded handgun under a table in a Statehouse committee room that is open to the public. Republican Rep. Willie Dove insists it was an accident, and that it happened after a meeting Tuesday. A secretary found the gun minutes later. Dove says he has a concealed carry permit and took the gun out of his leg holster because of a swollen ankle. Firearms are allowed at the Kansas Statehouse.
Senator Pat Roberts says the first hearing on the 2018 farm bill will be held next month in Manhattan. He is chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry. The senator announced the first hearing in the country on the farm bill will be Feb. 23 at Kansas State.
A state lawmaker introduces a bill to require transgender students in public schools to use the bathroom or locker room associated with their gender at birth. That would also apply to overnight accommodations for school trips. Republican state Rep. John Whitmer of Wichita argues the bill would protect students, while opponents claim it would give the attorney general extensive power to prosecute and single transgender students out for bullying.
Layoffs hit the Philips Lighting plant in Salina. 32 people left the payroll yesterday, and a company statement says they needed to increase operational efficiency. The layoff amounts to just over 10 percent of the staff at that facility.
Kansas Republicans are meeting Feb. 9 and Democrats get together two days later to pick their nominees for the congressional seat formerly held by CIA Director Mike Pompeo. The special GOP convention in the 4th Congressional District will be in Wichita at Friends University and starts at 7 p.m. Democrats plan to have their convention at 1 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Sedgwick County Courthouse in Wichita. The special election for Pompeo’s old seat is in April.

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