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Headlines from the Today in Kansas Report: February 19, 2016

andy lambertFebruary 19, 2016

The Kansas House gives first-round approval to a resolution calling for a convention to propose changes in the U.S. Constitution. Supporters of the resolution believe it would reign in Washington, but opponents call the proposal a waste of time, noting it takes 34 states to get a constitutional convention.

The ACLU sues Kansas over the “proof of citizenship” law to register to vote. The group claims that by requiring additional documentation when people try to register to vote at the DMV, the state is in violation of the National Voter Registration Act. The ACLU claims that’s blocked more than 35-thousand people from voting.

Republicans in the state Senate push a bill further tightening welfare rules. The bill would cut the lifetime limit on cash benefits from 3 years to two. Democrats tried to amend the bill to give poor moms of newborns 12 months’ exemption from the work requirement instead of three months.

A new report says the number of farms and ranches in Kansas fell last year. The National Agricultural Statistics Service reports the state had 60,400 farms in 2015, down 600 from the previous year. The average size is 762 acres, slightly larger than 2014.

Kansas legislators agree on a sweeping overhaul of the juvenile justice system by offering community-based services to juvenile offenders. A Senate committee endorses the idea of closing group homes for juvenile offenders in July 2018. The full Senate will vote on the plan by next week.

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