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More turmoil for Thomas County Sheriff…and other headlines: February 16, 2016

andy lambertFebruary 16, 2016
Kansas databases show the Thomas County Sheriff can’t legally drive. State records show Rod Taylor’s license was pulled at the end of last week for failure to submit a required medical report on time. Opponents had already been circulating a recall petition aimed at driving Taylor out, which he’s suing to stop.
Two Kansas legislators from different parties are suggesting the state deliberately mismanaged its two mental hospitals to justify a turning them over to private companies. But one of Gov. Sam Brownback’s top social services administrators told a House committee Monday there’s nothing to the allegation. The federal government decertified one of the hospitals in December.
A state Senate committee has approved a measure requiring Kansas law enforcement to file a missing person report within two hours of receiving a minimum amount of information. The measure passed Monday sets a specific time period in which the report must be provided to the National Crime Information Center and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
A Kansas Senate committee has approved the nomination of the acting secretary of the Department of Administration to become the full secretary, but not before questioning her about a $20-million lease-purchase deal for a new state power plant. The Senate Ways and Means Committee heard testimony Monday from acting secretary Sarah Shipman, who signed the controversial lease agreement in late December. The project is now on hold.
A Kansas teachers union has filed two lawsuits alleging that teachers were removed from their positions without hearings even though they earned tenure before state lawmakers repealed that protection. The Kansas National Education Association is suing districts in Wyandotte and Butler counties. A showdown over the 2014 law is looming before the state Supreme Court.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has made his choice in the 2016 race for the White House. Brownback is throwing his support to Marco Rubio, calling the senator from Florida a “true conservative” who can unite the party and beat the Democratic nominee in the fall.

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