Kan. House panel endorses narrow immigration bill

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – A Kansas House committee has endorsed a bill requiring state agencies to check if their new employees are in the U.S. legally by using the federal E-Verify database.

But even before the Federal and State Affairs Committee's voice vote Thursday, some conservative Republicans were seeking debate on broader proposals for cracking down on illegal immigration.

House GOP leaders have said they prefer to avoid a debate on immigration this year, fearing it will be contentious. The chamber's Republican majority is split, with some GOP lawmakers favoring tough measures and others supporting a business-backed plan to create a program to direct illegal immigrants into hard-to-fill jobs.

The bill endorsed by the committee would require state agencies to start using E-Verify to check new employees starting next year.