Politics

Kansas officials await word on this month’s tax collections
March 31, 2015
Kansas officials are waiting to see whether state tax collections this month met expectations.
Kansas Senate panel to consider expanding liquor licenses
March 31, 2015
Kansas counties would be allowed to expand liquor licenses under a bill being discussed by a state Senate panel.
City Commission candidates debate health, wellness issues
09:17 p.m., March 30, 2015 Updated 10:47 p.m.
A Lawrence City Commission candidate forum on health and wellness issues Monday produced a variety of ideas, including a candidate who said he thinks the community could benefit from a lower drinking age. By Chad Lawhorn
Former U.S. Rep. Jim Slattery offers insight into relationship between U.S., Iran
07:53 p.m., March 30, 2015 Updated 10:43 p.m.
Former U.S. Representative Jim Slattery, D-Kansas, spoke Monday afternoon at Kansas University’s Dole Institute of Politics, 2350 Petefish Dr., on the United States’ relations with Iran, the countrys’ histories and current nuclear negotiations.
Religious freedom bill stirs controversy in Kansas Statehouse
02:00 p.m., March 30, 2015 Updated 10:43 p.m.
Kansas lawmakers are debating a “religious freedom” bill at the same time Indiana is feeling a backlash of protest against a related bill signed into law there. Supporters of the Kansas bill say it is much narrower and only applies to religious student groups on college campuses that restrict their membership to those who share their beliefs. Critics say it could sanction much broader forms of discrimination. By Peter Hancock
High court to hear Kansas plea to reinstate death sentences
09:01 a.m., March 30, 2015 Updated 10:44 p.m.
The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear Kansas’ appeal to reinstate death sentences for two brothers in the fatal shootings of four people and for another man convicted of killing a couple.
Key Kansas lawmakers defend plan to issue pension bonds
08:00 a.m., March 30, 2015 Updated 10:41 p.m.
Kansas is considering $1 billion or more in pension bonds because it has a chance to improve the state retirement system’s financial health, not because officials want to back off short-term funding commitments, the Legislature’s pension committee chairmen said Monday.
Kansas House panel to hear ‘religious freedom’ bill for campus groups
March 29, 2015
Senate Bill 175 would require colleges and universities in Kansas to give recognition and support to student religious organizations that discriminate in their membership, if the discrimination is based on “sincerely held religious beliefs.” Kansas University says there have been no controversies over such groups in at least the last 15 years. But the American Civil Liberties Union says taxpayer money and student fees should not be used to support discrimination. By Peter Hancock
Colleges getting out of health insurance business
March 29, 2015
The federal health care overhaul is leading some colleges and universities to get out of the health insurance business.
Ex-Brownback aide lobbying against tobacco tax increase
March 29, 2015
Gov. Sam Brownback’s former chief of staff is lobbying against a proposed tax increase on tobacco, one of the governor’s primary proposals to balance the state’s budget.
Candidates differ on rental licensing program; discuss views on city management, commission changes
March 28, 2015
When the current City Commission passed a new rental registration and licensing program last year, it was one of the more sweeping program changes made by the commission in recent memory. Now the question is whether the program will be swept out with a new commission.
Kansas appeals court clarifies use of ‘stand your ground’ defense
March 28, 2015
The Kansas Court of Appeals said trial courts must follow strict rules before allowing a defendant to claim immunity from prosecution under the state’s so-called “stand your ground” law. That 2010 law says individuals cannot be arrested, detained or prosecuted for using deadly force if they acted in self defense, unless officers can show probable cause that a crime was committed. By Peter Hancock
Lawmaker defends use of state plane to fly back for vote
March 28, 2015
Rep. Virgil Peck, R-Tyro, was flown back to Topeka on the state’s private plane to vote on a controversial school funding bill, but arrived too late to cast that vote. He said he was attending official events in his home districts and that the flights were related to his official duties. By Peter Hancock
Rasmussen responds to concerns about out-of-town donations
March 27, 2015
Lawrence City Commission candidate Stan Rasmussen is seeking to assure voters that he’s not allowing several thousand dollars of campaign donations from outside of Lawrence and from a politically active conservative activist to influence his campaign. By Chad Lawhorn
New Kansas bill would allow counties to vote on liquor sales
March 27, 2015
A Kansas bill introduced Wednesday would allow a county’s voters to decide if their grocery stores can sell liquor, wine and spirits; and convenience stores to sell full-strength beer.

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