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Kansas Senate OKs 'compromise' judiciary budget

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- The Kansas Senate has passed a budget for the judicial branch but only after bundling it with bills that would reduce the state Supreme Court's authority over judicial districts.

Senate Vice President Jeff King, a Republican from Independence, says the bill passed Thursday is a compromise that will prevent judicial furloughs.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports (http://bit.ly/O17PmY ) the bill funds the courts, increases docket fees on some large litigation and allows some judicial positions to remain open for 120 days. It also allows the chief judges of the state's 31 judicial districts to control their individual budgets, and allows judicial districts to elect their chiefs.

Currently, the Supreme Court controls the districts' budgets and appoints their chiefs.

Democrats said those measures should be voted on separately from the budget bills.

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com