TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican Gov. Sam Brownback proposed Thursday spending an additional $24 million over two years on armed guards and other security measures that would allow Kansas to continue banning concealed guns at state hospitals for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled.
The proposal immediately renewed a debate over allowing concealed weapons in public hospitals, mental health centers, state universities and colleges. A state law will require such facilities to allow concealed guns inside starting July 1 if the buildings don't have extra security measures such as guards and metal detectors.
Brownback submitted his proposal to the GOP-controlled Legislature, even though administration officials have worked with lawmakers on revising the gun-rights law. While many legislators want to change the law, gun-rights groups have strongly resisted. Brownback signed the 2013 concealed carry measure into law and is a strong gun-rights supporter.
House and Senate budget committee members who reviewed the proposal criticized Brownback's administration for submitting it only this week, with lawmakers returning Monday from a spring break to wrap up the year's business.