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Newman proud to be in western Kansas -4/14/2014, 8:57 AM

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Wake up, people, and see the danger we’re in -4/13/2014, 12:03 PM

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Stripping of teachers’ due process worrisome -4/13/2014, 6:11 AM

The Kansas Ministry of Truth -4/13/2014, 6:14 AM

Letterman, Hillary and Jeb: 21st Century symbols -4/13/2014, 6:10 AM

Expensive school bill -4/13/2014, 6:12 AM

How to assist evil -4/11/2014, 9:15 AM

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The talk radio party? -4/10/2014, 11:04 AM

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‘Farmland’ — art is life on screen -4/9/2014, 10:45 AM

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Exposure to violence threatens children’s future -4/8/2014, 11:23 AM

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Why Renewable Fuel Standard matters -4/7/2014, 9:23 AM

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Sex and race equality -4/4/2014, 8:08 AM

Rest of the story -4/4/2014, 8:08 AM

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Not merely water under the bridge -4/3/2014, 9:51 AM

Federal fine -4/3/2014, 9:51 AM

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School funding battle continues -4/2/2014, 9:59 AM

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Tax breaks -4/1/2014, 10:09 AM

Hobby Lobby case a slippery slope -3/31/2014, 9:16 AM

Happy birthday, Gloria -3/31/2014, 9:16 AM

Unequal voting -3/30/2014, 11:37 AM

Protecting the pollinators -3/30/2014, 11:37 AM

Parties, politicians and seeking an advantage -3/30/2014, 11:37 AM

Healthy aging -3/30/2014, 11:37 AM

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As temperatures rise, pay attention to stored grain -3/30/2014, 3:49 PM

Bizarre arguments and behavior -3/28/2014, 10:06 AM

In your dreams -3/28/2014, 10:06 AM

Against the wind -3/28/2014, 10:05 AM

Discovering the salt of the earth -3/28/2014, 10:05 AM

Entrepreneurship key to economic growth -3/27/2014, 8:36 AM

Kansas goes Kremlin with arrests, secrecy -3/27/2014, 8:36 AM

Get ready for Arbor Day -3/26/2014, 2:03 PM

Reading between the lines -3/26/2014, 2:02 PM

Switching parties -3/26/2014, 1:53 PM

Putting a price tag on damages -3/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Privately piercing, serious sacrifice -3/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Autism bill passes House -3/25/2014, 10:13 AM

United stance -3/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Legislative session getting down to the end -3/25/2014, 10:12 AM

Taxation bill involving livestock successful -3/25/2014, 10:12 AM

STARBASE Day hits Topeka -3/24/2014, 10:13 AM

Judging based on accomplishments -3/24/2014, 10:14 AM

Who speaks for the voiceless? -3/24/2014, 10:14 AM

Fly Hays -3/23/2014, 1:12 PM

Learning from the candidates -3/23/2014, 1:12 PM

hedy -3/21/2014, 1:12 PM

-3/20/2014, 9:59 AM

Fred Phelps -3/20/2014, 9:59 AM

Is There Wage Stagnation? -3/20/2014, 9:58 AM

Cost of living, wages don't add up -3/20/2014, 4:01 PM

Legislative proposal raises questions -3/20/2014, 4:01 PM

No vote on war -3/19/2014, 3:32 PM

Wonder of St. Fidelis -3/19/2014, 4:01 PM

Protein for breakfast -3/19/2014, 2:58 PM

A pointed comment on guns -3/19/2014, 8:57 AM

Campaign madness -3/19/2014, 2:58 PM

Counting the cost of Kansas' Medicaid expansion -3/18/2014, 9:26 AM

Tax-relief spells a sure vote -3/18/2014, 9:26 AM

Tourney madness -3/18/2014, 9:25 AM

St. Patrick's Day -- The value of Irish humor -3/16/2014, 5:44 PM

Not all things are bad -3/16/2014, 5:44 PM

Supreme Court takes Legislature to school -3/16/2014, 5:43 PM

Parochial education -3/16/2014, 5:43 PM

Governed by rules, not men -3/14/2014, 10:00 AM

More guns: Merrier or scarier? -3/14/2014, 10:00 AM

The war on women -3/13/2014, 9:51 AM

Labeling the education can -3/13/2014, 9:51 AM

Taking exception -3/12/2014, 2:03 PM

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SPOTLIGHT
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What to expect this session

Published on -1/9/2014, 10:03 AM

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Just a week from now, 165 Kansans will be savoring lunches, dinners and drinks bought by someone else -- and trying to figure out how to make themselves irreplaceable to their legislative constituents, their campaign contributors and enough voters that they get to come back in 2015.

The 2014 Kansas legislative session starts Monday. There's plenty to do, but the key this election-year session for statewide elected officials and members of the Kansas House is to get re-elected. Keep the state operating, of course, but primarily, get re-elected.

So, don't look for massive changes in the face of the state or significant new initiatives by the Legislature on behalf of -- how do we say this politically correctly? -- Kansans who either don't vote in primary elections or from the standpoint of legislators vote wrong.

There is really just one issue that might confront the Legislature with dramatic effect -- a decision by the Kansas Supreme Court on financing of K-12 public education that could trigger more than $400 million in additional spending for schools. That's the biggie out there, and lawmakers likely will get the decision early in the legislative session.

That's the decision which could range from a scolding of lawmakers for cutting taxes instead of making suitable provision for finance of public education to a demand by the court lawmakers actually appropriate the money to better provide for the cost of public education.

It comes down to that.

And the Legislature's reaction likely is to range from just grumbling about separation of powers and ponying up the money the court demands (don't bet on that) or rejecting the decision and turning the education of children into an "us vs. those folks in black robes."

Besides education funding, things get, well, scattered.

There's how much information you have to provide to vote to where else people can carry concealed weapons to those electric cigarettes and where they can be smoked.

And, of course, talk about examining, but probably not doing anything memorable about, tax rates for businesses and individuals because lawmakers typically are not interested in election year tax changes that don't show up on your paycheck before you vote.

Booze in grocery stores? That might heat up, and there always are the puppy mill regulations and abortion prohibition expansion measures good for quotes in newspaper stories.

But earthshaking? Nope. Look for this to be a relatively low-key session -- if the Supreme Court doesn't shake things up.

Look at it as the legislative equivalent of comfort food -- and just wish you were a legislator, that unique breed of Kansans who never have to double-check to make sure they have lunch money.

Syndicated by Hawver News Co. of Topeka, Martin Hawver is publisher of

Hawver's Capitol Report.

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