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The Latest: Kansas candidate: No extra pay to arm teachers

July 11, 2018

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on a televised forum for Republican candidates for Kansas governor (all times local):

8:36 p.m.

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer says while local school boards should decide for themselves whether to arm individual teachers, they shouldn’t offer extra pay.

Selzer said during a televised Tuesday night forum for Republican gubernatorial candidates that offering teachers extra pay would encourage those with marginal firearms skills to bring weapons to school. He also favored having armed resource officers in schools.

Selzer is trying to unseat Gov. Jeff Colyer in the Aug. 7 primary. Colyer also said arming teachers is a decision for local school boards and he supports those that want to do it.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach said he supports the idea because, “You’ve got to have a good guy with a gun somewhere in the building.”

Former state Sen. Jim Barnett opposes arming teachers.

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7:25 p.m.

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer and Secretary of State Kris Kobach agree that they don’t want to change the state’s marijuana laws in an otherwise contentious GOP primary battle.

Both Colyer and Kobach said during a televised candidate forum Tuesday that they oppose legalizing marijuana for medical use. Kobach is trying unseat Colyer in the Aug. 7 primary.

Voters in traditionally conservative Oklahoma legalized medical marijuana last month.

Another GOP candidate for governor, Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer, said he would favor legalizing marijuana for medical use but not recreational use.

And former state Sen. Jim Barnett said the state should consider legalizing medical marijuana and that he would sign well-crafted and well-studied legislation.

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7:11 p.m.

Gov. Jeff Colyer and Secretary of State Kris Kobach have clashed over spending on public schools during a televised forum for GOP candidates for governor.

Colyer on Tuesday touted a school finance law enacted this year that phases in a $548 million increase in education funding over five years. The governor noted that the state did not raise taxes to pay for it.

Lawmakers passed the law in response to a Kansas Supreme Court order in October, and the court said last month that the new spending still is not sufficient.

Kobach said Colyer paid a ”$500 million ransom” by signing the new law and said the Supreme Court is wrong in its latest order.

Kobach is wooing fellow conservatives in hopes of ousting Colyer in the Aug. 7 primary.

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6:48 p.m.

Republican candidates for Kansas governor are differing on whether the state should encourage public schools to allow teachers to be armed to stop shootings.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach said Tuesday that he supports arming teachers because schools need “a good guy with a gun” in their buildings. He made the comment during a debate for GOP candidates televised live by KWCH in Wichita and WIBW in Topeka.

Kobach is trying to unseat Gov. Jeff Colyer in the Aug. 7 primary. Colyer said arming teachers is a local issue and he would support decisions by local school boards to do so.

Former state Sen. Jim Barnett said he opposes the idea. Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer said he favors making sure that each school has an armed officer.

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