Politics

Some Kansas environmental groups disappointed with clean energy compromise
May 17, 2015
A bill that changes the state’s renewable energy standards for electric utilities into voluntary goals is now on its way to Gov. Sam Brownback. But some environmental groups are still disappointed in the compromise worked out between the wind industry and conservative free-market political groups that opposed the old requirements. By Peter Hancock
Lawrence delegation and the tax debate: on the outside looking in
02:10 p.m., May 15, 2015 Updated 10:18 p.m.
In a chamber controlled by conservative Republicans, the three Democrats and one moderate Republican from Lawrence have had little input in the ongoing debate over how to solve the state’s budget woes. But that could change as conservatives continue to have trouble mustering enough votes from their own ranks for a plan to balance the budget. By Peter Hancock
Kansas House rejects plan to raise sales tax to fix budget
11:14 a.m., May 15, 2015 Updated 10:17 p.m.
A plan to raise Kansas’ sales tax to erase a budget deficit failed Friday in the state House, and members of its Republican majority said they’ll be looking at alternatives that include backtracking on one of GOP Gov. Sam Brownback’s biggest economic policies.
Rural district’s sacrifice illustrates depth of Kansas schools’ budget woes
May 14, 2015
Mike Sanders, superintendent of the Skyline school district in Pratt County, resigned his $81,000 a year job this week, saying that would prevent the district from having to cut more staff. Sanders said rising costs and the lack of state funding are forcing the district of 421 students to make difficult choices. By Peter Hancock
Kansas Senate blocks strong beer in supermarkets
May 14, 2015
The Kansas Senate has rejected a measure to allow supermarkets and convenience stores to sell full-strength beer.
Kansas lawmakers strike deal to keep Uber in state
08:18 p.m., May 14, 2015 Updated 10:17 p.m.
Kansas lawmakers say they have come to a regulatory agreement that will keep ride-hailing company Uber in the state.
Kansas lawmakers frustrated as session heads into overtime
07:51 p.m., May 14, 2015 Updated 10:57 p.m.
The 2015 Kansas legislative session will extend into next week, exceeding the traditional 90-day limit, as House and Senate leaders struggle to find agreement on a package of tax increases to balance the state’s budget. Lawrence-area lawmakers are expressing frustration. By Peter Hancock
Kansas lawmakers repeal clean energy standards; elections bill delayed
05:30 p.m., May 14, 2015 Updated 10:43 p.m.
The Kansas House passed and sent to the Senate a bill that repeals the state’s renewable energy standards for electric utilities and makes them voluntary goals. But it delayed voting on a bill to move state and local elections from spring to November of odd-numbered years. By Peter Hancock
Kansas Senate panel tinkers but isn’t ready to pass tax plan
03:20 p.m., May 14, 2015 Updated 10:57 p.m.
A Kansas Senate committee on Thursday junked proposals from its chairman to increase taxes on alcohol and homeowners before he declared that work on closing a budget shortfall was “going down a dead end street” and cut off its discussions.
Senate passes bill moving local elections to November
07:18 p.m., May 13, 2015 Updated 10:38 p.m.
City and school board elections in Kansas would be held in November of odd-numbered years under a bill passed Wednesday in the Kansas Senate. Supporters say it will increase turnout in those elections, but others argue that it will create problems, especially for school boards. By Peter Hancock
Kansas lawmakers nearing new deal with Uber
06:19 p.m., May 13, 2015 Updated 10:36 p.m.
Uber suspended operations in Kansas after lawmakers passed a bill, over Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto, imposing regulations on the Internet-based ride sharing service. But key lawmakers say negotiations have continued and they hope to reach a deal that is acceptable to both sides. By Peter Hancock
Kansas abortion foes seek change in law to help with lawsuit
01:34 p.m., May 13, 2015 Updated 10:38 p.m.
Abortion opponents are urging Kansas legislators to rewrite part of a 2011 law that imposed special health and safety regulations on abortion providers, telling state senators Wednesday that the move would eliminate an issue in a lawsuit keeping the rules from being enforced.
Kansas Senate panel approves bill to revive KCK racing park
11:59 a.m., May 13, 2015 Updated 10:17 p.m.
A Kansas Senate committee has approved a bill aimed at reviving a dog and horse racing complex in Kansas City, Kansas, with slot machines.
Proposal to raise sales tax clears Kansas House panel
10:53 a.m., May 13, 2015 Updated 10:36 p.m.
A proposal to address the state budget shortfall by raising the sales tax and eliminating some income tax deductions cleared a Kansas House panel Wednesday, but some lawmakers said it wouldn’t leave enough money for contingencies.
Kansas officials urge schools to teach financial literacy
09:36 a.m., May 13, 2015 Updated 10:40 p.m.
The chairmen of the Kansas House Education Committee and the State Board of Education are urging local school districts to teach financial literacy.