Students ask congress to keep federal subsidized loan interest rates low

March 14
  • Congress members received more than 130,000 letters from college students on Tuesday pleading for interest rates on federally subsidized student loans to remain the same. The Kansas City Star reports that the interest rates will increase from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent in July. Keeping the interest rates low could cost the government billions more annually.
  • Kansas Legislature refused to hear a bill that would have made the cairn terrier, best known for playing Toto in “The Wizard of Oz”, the official state dog.  The Lawrence Journal World reports that the South Central Kansas Kennel Club advocates the naming of the state dog and plans on conducting a statewide campaign this summer.
  • The Topeka Capital Journal reports that the Kansas House approved changes to the new concealed carry bill on Monday. The bill would allow concealed carry in public places that do not have adequate security. However, hospitals, colleges and nursing homes could be exempt for four years if they contact the attorney general’s office with valid reasoning.
  • According to the state Department of Labor, Kansas’ unemployment fell from 6.8 in December to 6.1 in January. The Topeka Capital Journal reports that private employers added about 22,000 jobs in 2011.
  • The University Daily Kansan reports that Student Senate approved a bill Tuesday stating students can’t be academically punished for views posted on electronic media, unless it is disruptive to the operations of the University. Student leaders expect the bill to pass at the full Senate meeting next Wednesday.

Brownback proposes to invest in horizontal hydraulic fracturing

Feb. 1
  • In his budget proposal, Gov. Sam Brownback recommended an additional $519,977 be allocated to the KCC to inspect the increasing number of hydraulic fracturing sites. Brownback appointed a committee to prepare for more fracturing, and thinks it will spur economic development. However, citizens are concerned about groundwater contamination and the amount of water that fracturing requires.
  • A woman whose grandson was killed in a traffic accident on Kansas Highway 10 asked legislators to approve a bill that would allow KDOT to double the amount of fines on busy highways. KDOT proposed designating these fines to K-10 and U.S. Highway 54 through Wichita.
  • Concealed carry permit holders could bring firearms onto public places, including university campuses, under a new bill in the Kansas House of Federal and State Affairs Committee. Only public places with security guards and metal detectors at all public entrances would be allowed to prohibit firearms.