Top Of The Morning News: May 15, 2013 | KCUR

Top Of The Morning News: May 15, 2013

May 15, 2013

Liberty Hospital will layoff more than a 100 workers.  Kansas City Mayor Sly James appoints an advisory group on the airport, including critics of  a one-terminal proposal. The Kansas Senate gives initial approval to bonds for NBAF.

KU Basketball Signs Top High School Recruit

he prospects for next season's Kansas Jayhawks' basketball season got a huge boost Tuesday. Andrew Wiggins, the consensus pick as the nation's top-ranked high school basketball player signed a letter-of-intent to play for KU.  Find out more about Wiggins’ choice here.

Liberty Hospital Announces Layoffs, Citing Pending 'Health Care Storm'

More than 100 employees at Liberty Hospital will be out of a job by the end of next week. The hospital says the layoffs are a response to a perfect storm in health care right now. That includes reduced Medicare and Medicaid payments, changes in the way hospitals will be reimbursed for care under the federal health law and increasing demands for charity care.  Read more about the cuts here.

Critic Of One-Terminal Airport Plan On Advisory Board

The “beginning” of a long process, is the way Kansas City Mayor Sly James describes work of a panel  he has set up to study future use of KCI Airport. The group includes a strong critic of the current plan for a single terminal. Mayor James said he expects input from a wide range of interests, from locals who love KCI the way it is, and from visitors who find fault with three terminals.  Read more about the group here.

Kansas Senate Gives First Round Approval For NBAF Money

Kansas Senators gave first round approval for new spending in support of a controversial federal animal disease lab Manhattan. Some Democrats as well as some in Gov. Brownback’s own party have questioned whether the state should commit an additional $202 million in bonds, on top of $145 million already spent in support of the federal lab.  Learn more here.

Kansas Supreme Court Justice And Lawmaker Butt Heads

The chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court and a prominent legislator are butting heads. At issue are allegations made the the justice. He says the legislator, who's an attorney, tried to make a deal tying a pay raise for court workers to a constitutional amendment.  Find out more here.

Final Version Of Second Injury Fund Fix Passes Missouri Senate

Early this morning, the Missouri Senate passed legislation that would fix the state's ailing Second Injury Fund.  The fund is designed to help disabled workers who suffer a second work-related injury.  It began running out of money after lawmakers eight years ago capped the surcharge businesses have to pay into it.  Find out more about the proposed fix here.

Missouri Senate Republicans Block 1-Cent Transportation Sales Tax

A group of Republicans in the Missouri Senate has blocked a proposed constitutional amendment that would create a one-cent sales tax to help fund the state’s transportation needs. The tax would require voter approval and would expire after 10 years unless voters renew it. Five percent of revenues raised would be designated for cities and another five percent for counties to pay for local transportation needs.  Those factors were not enough to sway several Republicans.  Find out why here.

Nixon Vetoes Bill That Would Eliminate Tax Break For Elderly Renters

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, a Democrat, has vetoed legislation that would eliminate a tax credit for elderly Missourians who rent their homes.  House and Senate Republicans voted to do away with the so-called "Senior Citizens Circuit Breaker" as a means of shoring up funding for the First Steps program, which aids children with developmental disabilities.   Read more here.

Liquor Franchise bill Stalls In Missouri Senate

Legislation to redefine the relationship between liquor distributors, wholesalers and retailers has stalled in the Missouri Senate. The bill has been filed each year since a 2011 ruling by a federal judge that redefined the meaning of the word "franchise."  Supporters say it'll protect Missouri companies from out-of-state competitors, while opponents argue that it'll primarily benefit St. Louis-based distributor Major Brands.  Read more here.