The Star – Bill revived to protect funerals of soldiers

Kansas City Star; February 5, 2007

Bill revived to protect funerals of soldiers


TOPEKA – After members of a Kansas church started protesting the funerals of soldiers killed overseas, dozens of states passed laws banning such activities.

But not Kansas. A bill proposed last year failed.

Now, lawmakers want to try again. Thirty-seven of the 40 members of the Senate have signed a bill that would create a 300-foot buffer around funerals from one hour before to two hours after a service.

The bill would require the attorney general to get a Supreme Court opinion before it went into effect.

Senators and representatives from Olathe wanted to make it clear: They back President Bush’s plan to send an additional 21,000 troops to Iraq.

They issued that support following a hearing last week on a proposed resolution by Sen. Donald Betts, a Wichita Democrat, urging the president not to escalate the war and urging Congress to prohibit further spending on Bush’s proposed troop surge.

The response, in part, from Olathe legislators, all Republicans:

“We object to his resolution criticizing United States involvement in Iraq and calling on the Congress to cut off funds for our troops battling against those who seek to do our nation harm.”

Betts said his resolution said nothing about cutting off all troop funding and accused the Olathe Republicans of “invoking fear.”

Besides Julia Lynn and Karin Brownlee, lawmakers signing were Representatives Lance Kinzer, Ben Hodge, Mike Kiegerl and Rob Olson.

For the first time in memory, some Kansas lawmakers are coming out on global warming.

During discussions about a proposed tax break for nuclear power plants and a two-year ban on new coal plants, several lawmakers uttered what just a few years ago was almost unheard of in the Capitol.

“Global warming is a fact,” said Rep. Bill Otto, a LeRoy Republican.

The tax break bill would give a 10-year property tax exemption to a power company that builds a nuclear plant within three miles of the state’s existing nuclear plant, Wolf Creek. The bill to ban new coal plants was tabled committee on Friday.

To reach David Klepper, call 1-(785) 354-1388 or send e-mail to To reach Jim Sullinger, call 1-(785) 354-1388 or send e-mail to

Section: News
Page: B2

Copyright 2007 The Kansas City Star Co.