Barbara Bollier

Jim McLean / Heartland Health Monitor

A coalition of health care and religious groups is asking Gov. Sam Brownback to convene a conference on gun violence.

“In the immediate aftermath of the tragic attack at Excel Industries in Hesston, you declined questions about gun policy issues because you understandably felt the timing was not appropriate,” reads the first sentence of the request submitted earlier this week. “We the undersigned inferred that you do believe, however, a time and place for such a conversation exists. We think that time should be soon.”

Kansas Legislature

Kansas lawmakers return to Topeka Tuesday to dive back into the contentious debate over budget and tax bills.

State Representatives and Senators were quoted  using words like “dumbfounded” to express  frustration that they can’t agree on either a budget or tax bill.  Lawmakers had planned to wrap up the legislative in 80-days instead of the mandated 90-days.  Instead, the session has run long like it has in most recent years.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback says if Kansas lawmakers won't approve additional funds for the National Bio And Agro-Defense Facility, there's a chance it won't get built.  And that's a risk he's not willing to take,  he said over the weekend on a stop in Kansas City, Kansas. 

President Obama's FY2014 budget requested $714 million for the top security animal disease lab proposed for Manhattan, Kansas.  As part of that request, the state was asked to contribute  $202 million. That's in addition to almost $150 million Kansas has already committed.

Some Republicans in Topeka suggest Governor Brownback’s request for an additional $202 million in bonds for the proposed animal disease lab represents a “moving target,” and want to be reassured the state isn’t going to be responsible for more than it can afford for a federal facility.

The Kansas House has passed a bill requiring the University of Kansas Medical Center to establish a stem cell research center. The Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center would work only with adult stem cells. Supporters say the center could lead to new medical treatments.

Representative Dave Crum is a Republican from Augusta.

“It is very much within the authority of the legislature to create policy that we think is in the best interest of the state."