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Today in Kansas Report Headlines: December 10, 2015

andy lambertDecember 10, 2015

A lawsuit blocking Kansas’ ban on a common second-trimester method for terminating pregnancies is forcing an appeals court to wrestle with whether the Kansas constitution independently protects abortion rights. The Court of Appeals heard arguments yesterday and often issues decisions within six weeks. This case has involved all 14 appeals judges rather than the normal three-judge panel.

Consultants are making several recommendations to Kansas lawmakers on how to save and generate revenue. They include a suggestion on centralizing the leasing of state office space and having the transportation department sell off rarely-used equipment. The state is spending $3 million to have Alvarez & Marsal do a government efficiency study.

An autopsy closes the case on a man found dead at a campground in Dodge City. The death has been ruled accidental, with no signs of foul play. A camper found his body in a ditch early Sunday.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation investigates the case of a man who died while in custody of Topeka police. He’d been picked up as part of a forgery investigation, complained of chest pains and was taken to the hospital. He died there.

A study commissioned by six health foundations in Kansas says expanding Medicaid could be a moneymaker for the state. The federal health care overhaul encourages states to expand their Medicaid programs for the poor and disabled by promising to pick up almost all of the cost. But Republican leaders in Kansas are skeptical the federal government will keep its promise.

Farmers are concerned that a bug new to Kansas could harm sorghum crops and interfere with farm equipment in Saline County. Experts said at a meeting Tuesday in Mentor that sugarcane aphids are probably not an immediate threat but bear watching. They were first noticed in Kansas a year ago.

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