Daily Archives: March 29, 2011

Senate passes budget bill after zig-zag on officials’ salaries

TOPEKA — In a budget debate marked by frayed nerves, confusion and course reversals, state Senators voted to reduce a planned cut in their own pay, and then later restored it to where they started.

But while the Senate’s budget bill would reduce lawmaker pay by 7.5 percent starting in July, the governor, other statewide elected officeholders, judges and department heads would get only a 2.5 percent pay cut.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee had recommended a 7.5 percent pay cut for all of those officeholders. Read More »

Senate comes down heavy on metal theft

TOPEKA — In an effort to cut down on metal theft and the damage it does to utilities and other businesses, the state Senate today approved a bill to require scrap dealers to register with their local government and keep detailed records on customers.

House Bill 2312 also establishes strict eligibility requirements for scrap dealers and specifies that scrap yards cannot accept wire of the type used by utilities if the identifying sheathing is burned or stripped away.

It also changes the calculation of penalties for metal theft. At present, the cost of the crime is based on the value of the stolen metal. Under HB 2312, it would be based on the cost of restoring the damage to the property. Read More »