Funeral Protesting Bill Clears 1st Hurdle in KS House

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ A bill reinstating a state law restricting protests at funerals has won first-round approval in the House.

The House advanced the bill on a voice vote with no debate. A final vote is expected Wednesday.

A law enacted last year says protesters can't be within 150 feet of a funeral one hour before, during or two hours after a service ends.

That law was never enforced. One provision said it would not take effect until the Kansas Supreme Court or a federal court upheld it.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled March 11 that the "trigger'' itself was unconstitutional, and nullified most of the law.

Last year's law and the new bill are a response to the picketing of soldiers' funerals by Rev. Fred Phelps Sr.'s and his followers.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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