Sat June 25, 2005
KCUR's Top Stories
By Ben Embry
Kansas City, MO – B-T-K suspect Dennis Rader pleaded guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder this morning, admitting to a series of slayings in Wichita that date back to the 1970s. The 60-year-old serial killer entered the plea on what would have been the first day of his trial. Rader will not face the death penalty because the murders were all committed before the state adopted capital punishment. After entering his guilty plea, Rader described to the court how he killed his victims, saying he was motivated by sexual fantasies. Rader will appear for sentencing August 17th.
Republican leaders in the Kansas House say they will block any funding proposals for public schools until legislators approve a proposed constitutional amendment to limit the court's power over school finance issues. Kansas lawmakers kicked off the sixth day of a special session this morning to address a state Supreme Court order mandating an additional 143 million dollars for public schools. G-O-P efforts to punish the court stalled yesterday when the House rejected a proposed constitutional change. After a near party-line vote rejecting the amendment, House Speaker Doug Mays says it's now up to Democratic Governor Sebelius and Democratic legislators to provide enough votes for it to pass.
Missouri businesses could see a multimillion tax increase if the state fails to come up with a plan to repay a 380-million tab to the federal government. The debt began piling up after the state's fund to pay jobless benefits to about 50-thousand Missourians went under two years ago. Unless Missouri comes up with a repayment plan by Friday, the U-S government will impose a multi-million dollar tax increase in Missouri businesses to recover its money. State Employment Security Director Katharine Barondeau says her division has drafted an application. Should the state's plan get rejected, Missouri would join New York as the only states being penalized by the federal government because of their unemployment fund debt.