The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 30, 1997 · Page 3
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 3

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Salina, Kansas
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Wednesday, April 30, 1997
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Page 3
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THE SALINA JOURNAL GREAT PLAINS WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30, 1997 A3 IKf T KANSAS LEGISLATURE wr; Funding, insurance, privacy and campaign reform top his agenda By LEW FERGUSON The Associated Press TOPEKA - The Legislature has an opportunity in the next few days to accomplish 99 percent of its agenda and "go home feeling good about this session," Gov. Bill Graves said Tuesday. Graves out• lined at a news conference seven priority issues he thinks should be resolved when legislators return today to finish the work of the 1997 session. The Senate is scheduled to convene at 10 a.m. and the House at 11 a.m. for a four-day wrap-up session. If everything falls into place, leaders would like to complete the wrap-up by late Friday. T SCHOOLS GRAVES However, any one of the issues Graves ticked off for reporters could lead to impasses that could delay adjournment. They are: • The omnibus appropriations bill, and "making sure we have the funding for juvenile justice and prison capacity issues." • Whether to extend school districts' local option budgets without public votes or with votes on a percentage of those budgets. "I think it's critically important that it be resolved this session," Graves said. • Legislation to implement the Kennedy-Kassebaum health insurance federal law. • An insurance tax reform package that, Graves said, "maybe doesn't get a lot of attention, (but) it's also critically important because it, perhaps, keeps us out of some very costly litigation in the insurance industry. • Whether to create a state registry of new employees for tracking parents who are delinquent in making child support payments. • Further campaign finance reforms, specifically Graves' pro- -up resolves 7 top issues 3 to Kat^ Qnlinif Q + 1C»V1 0«r1 *-»/-» «rn f «rn Tinrl i»"» fltn fiv>«4- 4-«*r<t *mn**m nn*t* {*•> OnAA posals to ban solicitation and acceptance of contributions by state officials, not only from political action committees but also from corporations and labor unions. • Banning controversial late- term abortions, which the governor conceded is "probably the most... contentious or visible issue right now." "I think we have a wonderful opportunity to have a fairly smooth and productive wrapup session," Graves said. "I think the stage was set for that early on with the work that was done on school finance and the tax package. "I have a short list of seven items that I think most of which are well on their way to resolution, that if we could get finalized would give the Legislature an opportunity to feel very good about this session, and send them home basically on time." Asked if he was frustrated over the amount of legislation left for the wrapup session, Graves said: "I'd call this an easy package to resolve in comparison to what St. John's pleases its inspectors ROTC team gives military school 585 out of 600 points possible By CRISTINA JANNEY Tlie Salina Journal As public schools struggle with finances and violence problems, military schools, including St. John's Military School in Salina, are thriving, according to an ROTC inspection team that visited the school Tuesday. Students in their stiff, blue dress uniforms stood heels together at attention Tuesday afternoon as an inspection crew picked through the ranks for signs of inconsistency. "It offers organization and discipline to students from a wide variety of backgrounds," Col. Robert Cooch of the Fort Carson, Colo., inspection team said of the junior ROTC program. Cooch, who said he was impressed by the students' pride in their school, said the school was No. 1 or No. 2 out of the 50 junior ROTC programs at public and private schools his team inspects annually. The school received 585 out of a possible 600 points during its annual military inspection Tuesday. On the first day of school, students start practicing such skills as marching, which they demonstrate for inspectors. The school is graded on 10 criteria, including supply, staff briefing, curriculum knowledge, drill and ceremony, public affairs and inspections of students. Students are asked questions about drill and ceremony, first aid and map reading. Their uniforms also are inspected. With drug, gang and violence problems increasing in some public schools, Cooch said, military schools are places where students can concentrate on learning life skills like responsibility and teamwork. "Those are the things that a lot of parents are looking for," Cooch said. Although the junior ROTC program is supported at St. John's through its military program, there are more than 1,300 junior ROTC programs in the United States, and most are in public schools, Cooch said. The success of military schools is based largely on society, said Capt. E.A. McAlexander, school president. During the Vietnam War, attendance at military schools declined, and many schools changed their curriculums or went out of business, he said. Today some public schools are adopting military policies like requiring uniforms and public service, McAlexander said. "The significance is that the military teaches kids self-discipline," he said. "The military model is all about positive reinforcement of accomplishments." The military school in a small town also offers a safe environment, McAlexander said. Unlike many public schools that are struggling with finances and violence fears, military schools are thriving. St. John's ranks in the top 10 percent of military schools for its military program, McAlexander said, based on past inspection scores. 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Graves said it would be a mistake for the Legislature to ignore the local option budget extension issue and force school districts to get them renewed next year by votes of the people. "I think perhaps, next to the budget issues and the omnibus bill, the LOB issue is the most important issue to be resolved," Graves said. He said he knew the Senate and House have "sort of got their heels dug in" — with the Senate wanting to lock in existing LOBs at 100 percent and the House wanting to make districts submit 10 percent of their LOBs to public votes next year and 20 percent in the year after that. The governor said a possible compromise he thinks "is worth entertaining" is to combine the two positions: locking in LOBs at 100 percent for 1998, then requiring districts to get 10 percent of them approved in 1999 and 20 per- cent in 2000. "That would almost be like a 100-90-80 plan, as opposed to the House's 98-80, or the Senate locking in at 100 for the long haul," Graves said. "I'll throw that out as a possibility." Subscribe Tbday For Only $9,97(4 . Ml ».) Each issue features the people, places, events and heritage that makes Salina so special. Makes a great gift, perfect for your home or office. Call 825-6789 i*r A publication ol The Salina Area Chamber d Commerce. nesTONe. chimney service I and stove store Steve Miles & Jim Kerby ROLLS, ROLLS, ROLLS 7 and 7 REMS, REMS, REMS fi mos. no interest <\v.,\.r.) ^•^ ^* MOHAWKjjtBRAND I ' f 1 SpJrwJfew CARPET CENTRAL 833 East Prescott, Salina • (913) 827-8755 SEARS Own your own Sears store Forget the rest...own the best! 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