Top Stories Of The Week | KCUR

Top Stories Of The Week

May 4, 2012

Kansans City finally got a truancy ordinance. Kansas got a major tax-cut proposal. And a Missouri legislator came out, literally, against a bill known as “don't say gay.” Those and other top stories of the week were recapped on KCUR's Saturday News Review.

Kirksville Represtnatative Comes Out Against Bill

As many Republicans in Jefferson City rallied around a bill that would make it illegal to discuss sexual orientation in Missouri schools, Kirksville GOP Representative Zachary Wyatt publicly came out – as against the bill... and gay. One organization said that Wyatt is the only openly gay GOP legislator in the nation.

More From Jefferson City

Governor Nixon wouldn't get involved for or against a move to raise the cigarette tax, but did urge the House to go along with the Senate and restore funding for pensions for the blind. House budget chair Ryan Silvey said he could make no promises unless the Senate also agrees to tax amnesty.

The House narrowly passed a bill that would prohibit school districts from considering seniority or salary when laying off teachers.

The Senate put off any decision on making I-70 a toll road till next year.

A Tax Cut Plan for Kansas

In Kansas, the estimate on the cost of a tax-cutting plan kept bouncing up and down, and finally settled in at a $712 million shortfall by 2018. So House-Senate negotiators pared the cuts back. The final proposal would reduce individual income taxes – but more slowly, and end income taxes on 191,000 businesses.. Republican Marvin Kleeb of Overland Park called it a responsible compromise, but Wichita Democrat Nile Dillmore said it creates a new class of Kansans who don't have to pay income taxes because of how they earn their living.

More From Topeka

Bills that merge the arts and film commissions and allow pharmacists and health care providers to decline to fill prescriptions or be invo;ved in procedures for “reasons of conscience” headed for Governor Brownback's signature.

The House and Senate, meanwhile, were going head-to-head over new state Senate districts that could determine whether or not moderates maintain their last bastion of control in the Senate.

The two chambers also may clash on a Senate plan to increase public education funding by $80.

Revised Kansas City Truancy Ordinance Passes

The Kansas City city council passed a truancy ordinance that emphasizes fines for repeat school-skippers, not police sweeps of truants on the streets. Coincidentally, a Missouri court overturned a state law allowing kids to transfer out of unaccredited districts like the Kansas City one and into adjacent districts.

More From City Hall

The Firefighters union agreed to a contract that would close two fire stations and reduce department size through attrition and early retirement. The council will vote on it Thursday.

And the mayor's commission on municipal revenue reported that Kansas City is on solid revenue footing, and needs to keep the earnings tax and probably raise sales and property taxes.

Big-12 Conference Hires New Commissioner

The Big-12 hired Stanford athletic directory Bob Bowlsby as its new commissioner. He reportedly will get a salary of about a million dollars a year.

Honors for Brooks and Bodine

The Kansas City, Missouri city council honored former mayor pro-tem Alvin Brooks and Walt Bodine. Brooks was celebrating his 80th birthday. Bodine was newly retired after doing his last show on KCUR April 27th.