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Top Of The Morning News: April 23, 2013

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signs two bills.  One bill will require KU Med to setup a new stem cell center, and the other bill updates the state’s human trafficking laws.  The Missouri Senate passes a $25 billion budget.  Seed companies fight to maintain independence.

Kansas Governor Signs Bill Updating Human Trafficking Laws

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has signed into law a bill to combat human trafficking and exploitation of underage sex workers. The governor says the bill will provide increased criminal penalties and services for victims of sexual exploitation.  Learn more here.

Brownback Signs Bill Establishing KU Med Stem Cell Center

The new facility would work with adult stem cells and cells taken from umbilical cord blood. Abortion opponents supported the bill, since they are also opposed to the use of embryonic stem cells for research. Brownback signed the bill during a ceremony today at the Statehouse and was joined by people who have successfully undergone medical treatments using stem cells.  Read more here.

Missouri Senate Passes Budget

The roughly $25 billion spending plan still does not include Medicaid expansion, but not for a lack of trying by Democrats.  Minority Floor Leader Jolie Justus offered up an amendment that would’ve added $890 million to the Social Services budget, enough to expand Medicaid to around 260,000 Missourians next year.  Find out more here.

Seed Companies Fight To Maintain Independence

The bulk of the seed market is controlled by two companies, Monsanto and DuPont, who have entered the field, so to speak, within the last 20 years but now dominate. Local, independent seed companies were common as recently as the ‘90s but have seen their influence and number shrink as large multinational companies have gotten into the game.  Read more here.

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