Former Lawrence State Rep. Dies

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) _ Former state Rep. Jessie Branson, of Lawrence, dies at 88.

Her family says she died Saturday at Lawrence Presbyterian Manor of natural causes. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Branson, a Democrat, was known for advocating health and arts concerns. As a legislator in the 1980s, she pushed for the law requiring young children in vehicles to ride in child safety seats.

Branson, a nurse, and her husband, a pediatrician, helped establish the Douglas County Association for Retarded Citizens in 1956. She was active in community causes when she ran for her seat in the House in 1980.

She served a decade. Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat who served with her in the House, called her "a model legislator.''

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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