Politics

Kansas House approves bill revising land annexation process
May 27, 2015
Kansas legislators have given final approval to a bill that would require cities and towns to get approval from counties before annexing land in some cases.
The verdict on tax cuts: Lawmakers must decide if 2012 tax experiment is working
10:04 p.m., May 26, 2015 Updated 10:30 p.m.
Kansas lawmakers will have to decide soon how to fill the state’s estimated $400 million budget hole. Their decision will likely be seen, both in Kansas and nationally, as a verdict on whether the massive income tax cuts of 2012 have worked. Advocates on both sides point to mounds of economic numbers to support their arguments. By Peter Hancock
Kansas marijuana bill hits roadblock in state Senate
May 26, 2015
A bill that would ease marijuana laws in Kansas has stalled in the state Senate and will likely not be considered further this year after its unexpected approval by the House.
Kansas House panel advances plan to raise taxes, fix budget
02:23 p.m., May 26, 2015 Updated 10:30 p.m.
A Kansas legislative committee on Tuesday advanced a new plan for balancing the state budget by increasing sales and cigarette taxes and reversing a break for business owners and farmers championed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.
Kansas universities lack firm plan for concealed guns on campus, making some anxious
Board of Regents, KU say discussions underway; fearful faculty and students talking, too
May 23, 2015
The calendar is creeping toward the date when, under Kansas law, people will be able to carry concealed guns into buildings on college campuses, even without a concealed carry permit. It’s become increasingly clear that adding security measures to block guns from all entries into all buildings is not financially or logistically feasible. Kansas University’s Lawrence campus alone has 237 buildings, and statewide there are 864, according to the Board of Regents’ most recent facilities inventory. What’s still very unclear is how KU and other schools will implement the change when it becomes effective July 1, 2017. And, at least at KU, that has some faculty and students worried. By Sara Shepherd
Brownback signs bill regulating ride-hailing companies
May 22, 2015
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a compromise on regulations that ride-hailing company Uber says will allow it to stay in the state.
Kansas lawmakers mull new tax on exchange health policies
08:47 a.m., May 22, 2015 Updated 10:37 p.m.
A Kansas Senate committee has reviewed a proposal to impose a new fee on insurance policies sold through an online marketplace set up under the federal health care overhaul.
Kansas House balks at setting up alternative to foster care
May 22, 2015
Kansas House members are uneasy about a proposal to allow parents to temporarily give up custody of their children to others as an alternative to putting the youngsters into foster homes overseen by the state.
Budget negotiators drop tuition freeze, narrow revenue gap
May 21, 2015
House and Senate budget negotiators agreed Thursday to drop a proposal in their spending plan that would have prohibited state colleges and universities from raising tuition. They also made other adjustments in the proposed budget that narrow the projected revenue shortfall for next year to about $380 million. By Peter Hancock
Kansas House approves variety of election changes
04:31 p.m., May 21, 2015 Updated 10:24 p.m.
The Kansas House approved a measure Thursday that would move local elections to the fall in odd-numbered years in a bid to boost turnout. The bill would also permanently cancel the state’s presidential primary elections and the Senate passed a tweak to the state’s abortion laws before lawmakers adjourned for a four-day weekend.
Kansas Senate calls off tax debate
04:12 p.m., May 21, 2015 Updated 10:25 p.m.
Senate GOP leaders postponed the debate until next week to give members more time to draft proposed amendments. Both the House and Senate are now expected to debate tax bills next week, after they return from an extended four-day Memorial Day weekend. By Peter Hancock
Kansas House approves bill upping Secretary of State Kobach’s power; Douglas County lawmakers vote no
11:27 a.m., May 21, 2015 Updated 08:43 a.m.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said Thursday that his office would “begin immediately” to prepare election fraud prosecutions if Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signs a bill giving him the power to prosecute.
Kansas House advances bill giving Kobach power to prosecute election crimes
02:20 p.m., May 20, 2015 Updated 10:48 p.m.
The bill, which has already passed the Senate, would give the secretary of state independent authority to prosecute election crimes. It also increases the penalties for those crimes and lowers the standard of proof for a conviction. By Peter Hancock
Kansas governor says he’s not drawing clear lines on taxes
12:54 p.m., May 20, 2015 Updated 10:48 p.m.
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback said Wednesday that he’s not drawing “very clear lines” about what he’ll accept as the GOP-dominated Kansas Legislature considers reversing one of his major economic initiatives to help close a state budget shortfall.
Kansas House to consider stiffening scrap theft penalties
May 20, 2015
Scrap thieves who do more than $5,000 worth of damage when stealing valuable metals would face jail time under a bill before the Kansas House.

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