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Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Strip club owner says he'll sue if Nebraska Legislature passes bill

LINCOLN — The owner of four private strip clubs said Monday that there’s no need for the state to regulate his businesses. If state officials try, Shane Harrington said, he’ll go to court and win.

“I’m operating well within the constitution,” Harrington said. “Even if a law is passed, I’m not closing my clubs ... and I’m filing a lawsuit.”

He spoke after a 90-minute public hearing in which a state senator, the state liquor commission, the Omaha City Council and representatives of Catholic and children’s organizations called for a return to a time when private bottle clubs — which allow club members to bring in their own liquor — are required to obtain state liquor licenses, like bars and restaurants.

Most of those testifying in favor of Legislative Bill 747 said the proposal wasn’t about the totally nude dancing allowed at Harrington’s bottle clubs (including one near 72nd and Dodge Streets in Omaha), but about making such operations adhere to the same rules as places that sell alcohol.

Read more: http://www.omaha.com/news/legislature/strip-club-owner-says-he-ll-sue-if-nebraska-legislature/article_e508cca6-4762-5c6d-87a1-7ffbfa302cc2.html

Legislature's consultants lay foundation for Kansas public education cost study

TOPEKA — Consultants conducting a $285,000 study of Kansas public school finance outlined for lawmakers Friday boundaries of a report due in March on the minimum investment required to educate students in a manner consistent with the Kansas Constitution.

The presentation to members of the House and Senate revealed bipartisan anxiety about metrics included or excluded from the analysis. It affirmed a feeling among Democrats the consultants’ assessment would be politically tainted.

The Republican-led Kansas Legislature hired advisers from outside the Capitol’s bubble to execute a fresh accounting of the cost for educating the state’s 490,000 students. It follows the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling in October that a $300 million increase in state aid approved by the 2017 Legislature fell short of equity and adequacy mandates in the constitution. That increase spread among the state’s 286 districts was financed with a controversial income tax hike.

Lori Taylor, a professor in the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, told education committee members why previous comprehensive cost studies were flawed or outdated. The two most influential evaluations applicable to Kansas were published in 2006 and 2011.

Read more: http://www.hdnews.net/news/20180224/legislatures-consultants-lay-foundation-for-kansas-public-education-cost-study

Kansas House bill would add requirements to asbestos claims in effort to reduce liability

Legislation endorsed by the Kansas House would burden terminally ill cancer victims with paperwork, an investigation and sworn statement before seeking compensation from a company that exposed them to asbestos.

House Bill 2457, supported by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, aims to reduce compensation awarded in jury trials. The bill would require all possible claims against other defendants to be filed within a 30-day window, allowing a jury to consider shared liability among sources of asbestos exposure.

Representatives passed the bill on a 77-40 vote last week as lawmakers took action on a multitude of proposals before breaking until they return Wednesday.

In debating litigation, Rep. Pam Curtis, a Kansas City Democrat, shared a personal story of her father-in-law’s death from asbestos exposure. She explained her vote against the bill by saying asbestos has been a known carcinogen for decades, placing workers’ lives at risk.

Read more: http://www.cjonline.com/news/20180226/kansas-house-bill-would-add-requirements-to-asbestos-claims-in-effort-to-reduce-liability

Hillary Clinton to speak at Yale University's Class Day


NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Organizers have announced Hillary Clinton will speak at this year's Class Day at Yale University.

Class Day is an annual event at the New Haven university that honors achievements in academic, artistic and athletic fields. Past notable speakers include former Secretary of State John Kerry and former Vice President Joe Biden in 2015.

In a statement issued Monday, Class Day Co-Chair and Yale student Josh Hochman says students should emulate Clinton's "life of resilient and courageous service."

Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee for president, graduated from Yale Law School in 1973.

Clinton is scheduled to speak May 20.

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article202312484.html

West Virginia teachers to continue strike Tuesday

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Thousands of striking schoolteachers who have shut down West Virginia classrooms for days are demanding a face-to-face meeting with the governor and legislative leaders on their pay grievances, a union official said Monday.

Teachers rallied Monday outside the state Capitol amid pledges to continue the walkout that began Thursday, unless their complaints are heard. The state's average teacher pay ranks among the lowest in the nation and teachers are balking at approved increases they say are too stingy.

The teachers, represented by the American Federation of Teachers, the West Virginia Education Association and the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association, want Gov. Jim Justice and leaders from the state Senate and House to meet with them on their complaints.

Until that happens, the strike by teachers in all 55 counties will continue Tuesday, said Christine Campbell, president of the AFT's West Virginia chapter.

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/news/business/article202080964.html

Illinois lawmakers to finalize hospital assessment program

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Illinois lawmakers made the final tweaks to a health care program responsible for bringing in billions of federal dollars to the state's hospitals.

The House Appropriations-Human Services Committee is expected to vote Tuesday on a finalized hospital assessment program. The state is updating how it allocates Medicaid funding to hospitals in response to federal pressures.

Democratic Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago is the chairman of the committee. He says the program will bring $3.5 billion in federal funds into Illinois' health care system. The proposal updates patient data and rolls some payments into the managed care system.

Two Chicago-based hospitals in impoverished neighborhoods say they will be forced to close under the new program. Harris says he will continue to work with the facilities to address their concerns.

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/news/business/article202313059.html

Naked man on ATV leads police on wrong-way, highway chase in Kansas City

A naked man on a yellow ATV led police on a wild chase through the Northland for more than an hour Sunday afternoon.

The chase began at 2:20 p.m. when police investigated a report of a “suspicious party…a naked male” on an all-terrain vehicle near 8400 Northeast Sam Ray Road in Kansas City, North. The man was suspected of being under the influence of drugs, police said.

The man eluded officers for a while in a field by Northeast Shoal Creek Parkway and Missouri 152.

He eventually found a break in a fence and led police south on Northeast Shoal Creek toward the Kansas City Regional Police Academy. The man then circled back and got onto Interstate 435, where he led police south, heading the wrong way in the northbound lanes.

Much, much more including video: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/crime/article202093489.html

Bill to regulate medical marijuana narrowly advances from Senate committee

OKLAHOMA CITY — A Senate panel on Monday passed a bill that aims to regulate medical marijuana, if voters approve a state question on June 26.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee by a vote of 6-5 advanced Senate Bill 1120 by Sen. Ervin Yen, R-Oklahoma City.

Supporters of medical marijuana successfully obtained the necessary signatures to put a statutory change before voters to legalize medical marijuana. Gov. Mary Fallin put State Question 788 on the ballot.

Some, including Yen, have said that the wording of SQ 788 is too broad and essentially legalizes the recreational use of marijuana.

Read more: http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepagelatest/bill-to-regulate-medical-marijuana-narrowly-advances-from-senate-committee/article_0124e5f3-dcdd-55d0-90f4-4ee370874c4d.html

Predicted $167 million shortfall, smallest in years

Oklahoma's next budget shortfall will be the smallest in years, according to an estimate released Tuesday.

Lawmakers writing the fiscal year 2019 budget will only have to account for $167.8 million in spending cuts, one-time funding or new revenue, according to the Office of Management and Enterprise Services. That amount is considerably less than recent years when shortfall estimates ticked toward, and eventually past, $1 billion.

The amount of revenue available to lawmakers actually rose, enough that the budget year will start with $104 million more than the current year. However, there are new obligations that push things into the familiar realm of another shortfall. Most of those are things the Legislature decided to put on hold during the special session, including payments to cover hospital residency programs affected by a federal policy change and more than $92 million to repay local school districts when property owners in the districts claim a tax exemption.

In all, lawmakers will have $5.88 billion to spend for the budget year starting July 1.

Gov. Mary Fallin said Tuesday that without legislative agreement to secure new revenue, state agencies could endure a 2.5 percent budget cut to accommodate the shortfall.

Read more: http://newsok.com/estimate-predicted-167-million-shortfall-smallest-in-years/article/5584079

Proposal would end 'spring forward, fall back' in Oklahoma

Rest easy, timepieces. A bill making its way through the state Senate would end for Oklahomans the twice-a-year time change caused by daylight saving time.

Senate Bill 1309 proposes having Oklahoma permanently adopt daylight saving time and avoid the clock-switching more commonly known as "spring forward" and "fall back."

The author, State Sen. Joseph Silk, said it's an archaic method of regulating time.

"It was initially designed to save energy, but it doesn't save energy at all anymore just because everyone's got air conditioners and the whole economy has changed," said Silk, R-Broken Bow. "When you look at it, it's not good for your health because your body gets into a sleeping rhythm and you disrupt it twice a year."

He cited health risks, like a higher incidence of heart attacks and stroke, along with more traffic accidents occurring around the time shifts.

Read more: http://newsok.com/proposal-would-end-spring-forward-fall-back-in-oklahoma/article/5584285
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