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Kan. chief justice sends message to legislators

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- The chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court is asking legislators to spend more money to improve the operations of the court system and allow more flexibility in assigning district judges.

Chief Justice Lawton Nuss submitted his annual State of the Judiciary message Thursday in writing.

The chief justice has traditionally delivered the address in a speech to the Legislature. But House Speaker Ray Merrick blocked the speech this year, saying lawmakers' time could be better spent on other things.

Nuss says additional funds to help the court system modernize its case management system would improve its efficiency.

He also renewed the judiciary's request to legislators to abolish a law requiring that a judge be assigned to each of the state's 105 counties. Nuss says the change would improve judicial efficiency.