New plan to balance budget that doesn’t touch aid to schools…and other headlines: February 14, 2017

Kansas legislators are pushing a new plan to balance the state’s budget without touching aid to public schools after top Republicans saw support for education funding cuts crash. A House committee endorsed a bill Monday that would liquidate a state investment portfolio to cover operating expenses through June 30. The move comes after Senate GOP leaders cancelled a debate last week on a package that cut aid to public schools.
K-State Hall of Fame football coach Bill Snyder, diagnosed with throat cancer. Treatments are said to be going well and he says in a statement that he expects to be on the field for spring practice next month. Snyder is 77.
A proposed bill in the legislature would compensate wrongly convicted people $80,000 for each year served in prison and an additional $1 million if they were on death row. The bill would make Kansas among the top states in payouts for exonerated people. In order to qualify for compensation, a claim would need to be filed within two years of being released in order to prove wrongful conviction.
State lawmakers take up a bill that would end the death penalty in Kansas, but a chairman isn’t sure it’ll even clear committee. The proposal got a hearing yesterday, with supporters arguing the death penalty is expensive because of the higher level of legal work required, plus concerns of innocent people being convicted. Nobody spoke against it. The most recent execution in Kansas was in 1965.
Police in Great Bend ask for help as they investigate a drive-by shooting at a home on Jackson Street. The man who lives there was home at the time but wasn’t hurt. The department is investigating another drive-by that targeted a yoga studio, but so far there’s no sign that the two are linked.

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