Daily Archives: March 16, 2009

Death penalty cost

Idea behind Senate Bill 208 is to help save the state money by eliminating the death penalty.

As the lawmakers are debating the issue, they frequently reference a 2003 study that showed it was more expensive to prosecute capital punishment cases.

Here is the document they are talking about: Death Penalty Costs.

Death penalty debate begins in the Senate

The Senate has begun debating a bill that would end executions in Kansas for cases sentenced after July 1, 2009

Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick conceived Senate Bill 208 as a way to save money for cash-strapped Kansas. Opponents of the death penalty maintain that cases involving capital punishment cost the state more money than similar cases where death is not part of the equation.

Kansas reinstated the death penalty in 1994. Currently, 10 men are serving time on death row. The state’s last execution was in 1965.

The issue is the only topic scheduled for debate in the Senate today.

An audio feed of the debate is available online at the Senate’s webpage.

Financial literacy bill passes the House

TOPEKA – A bill aimed at increasing Kansas students’ knowledge about financial matters passed the House on Monday.

Senate Bill 84 as amended would require the State Board of Education to develop financial literacy curriculum standards for all grade levels. The proposal also directs the board to encourage school districts to look for text books that include a strong personal financial literacy component.

The measure passed 119-3 and now goes back to the Senate which must agree with the changes.

Bill blocking Mulvane annexation passes House

TOPEKA – A measure retroactively blocking a “snaking annexation” used by Mulvane to incorporate land for a casino passed the House.

House Bill 2084, passed 113-9 on final action vote Monday. It now goes to the Senate.

Reps. Vince Wetta, a Wellington Democrat, and Pete DeGraaf, a Mulvane Republican, sponsored the measure. DeGraaf has opposed the casino and Wetta wants to see the casino constructed in Wellington.

Mulvane officials connected the proposed casino site to the city via a meandering, narrow strip of land. A suit Sumner County filed against the city over the annexation is in court. The bill is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2008.

The measure now goes to the Senate.

WSU student appointed to state Hispanic commission

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, appointed Wichita State University student Paul Cruz to a commission addressing Hispanic affairs.

Below is the press release:

Promoting statewide coordination in addressing Hispanic affairs, Governor Kathleen Sebelius has made one appointment to the Kansas Hispanic and Latino American Affairs Commission (KHLAAC).

“To move our state forward, it’s important that all voices are heard and all Kansans are represented. I’m thankful for the dedication of this commission in serving our state and celebrating our cultures,” Sebelius said.

Paul Cruz, Wichita, currently attends Wichita State University and is a member of the Wichita Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Education Committee. Cruz will represent the 4th Congressional district while serving a three-year term on the board.

The KHLAAC is a seven member body appointed by the governor of Kansas. The commission serves as a liaison for the Kansas Hispanic and Latino Community and the Office of the Governor. The commission addresses public policy concerns primarily in the areas related to education, health and business.

Death penalty debate in the Senate this afternoon

TOPEKA – The full Senate is scheduled to debate a proposal to abolish the death penalty this afternoon.

The chamber convenes at 2:30 p.m. and the Senate Bill 208 is the only item set for discussion.

The measure would abolish the death penalty for cases sentenced after July 1, 2009. Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick, proposed the bill as a cost-saving measure.

Supporters of abolishing the death penalty maintain that the cases are costly and do not deter crime.

The state reinstated the death penalty in 1994. While there are currently 10 men on death row, the state has not executed anyone since 1965.

Leaders on both sides of the aisle have said they don’t have a feel for how the votes might turn out.

The debate will be broadcast over the web, a link is at the Senate’s web pages.

For more on the debate, keep checking Wichitopekington for blog updates.