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Politics

Animal trapping group inquires about bringing convention, firearms to Douglas County Fairgrounds
April 7, 2014
An animal trapping organization interested in hosting a convention at the Douglas County Fairgrounds is asking the Douglas County Commission to consider allowing it to bring firearms onto the site as part of the event. By Elliot Hughes
Kansas teachers to take lessons from Statehouse back to classrooms
April 6, 2014
Hundreds of teachers converged on the Kansas Statehouse last weekend, hoping to deter lawmakers from passing a law to repeal their tenure rights. Among them were many social studies teachers who plan to share the experience with their students to help them understand how the state and national governments work. By Peter Hancock
House, Senate pass school finance bill; awaiting Brownback’s signature
07:55 p.m., April 6, 2014 Updated 11:02 p.m.
The Kansas House has voted 63-57 in favor of the school finance bill, which is now awaiting Gov. Sam Brownback’s signature. Earlier Sunday, the Senate voted 22-16 in favor of the bill that includes repealing teacher tenure rights. By Peter Hancock
Kansas Senate Democrat complains of ‘possible open meetings violation,’ will ask DA to investigate
April 6, 2014
Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka says GOP leaders violated the Kansas Open Meetings Act by calling an unscheduled conference committee meeting at 3 a.m. after nearly everyone had left the Statehouse. He plans to ask the Shawnee County District Attorney to investigate. By Peter Hancock
House rejects school finance plan
April 6, 2014
The Kansas House has rejected a school finance bill that would have restored equalization aid for poor districts, but also would have eliminated teacher tenure and provided tax credits to benefit private and parochial schools. By Peter Hancock
Tentative agreement reached on school finance
10:49 p.m., April 5, 2014 Updated 10:49 p.m.
House and Senate negotiators reached a tentative agreement on school finance Saturday afternoon. The deal would send more equalization money to poor districts and increase funding for local option budgets, but would also do away with K-12 teacher tenure and authorize two forms of indirect vouchers for private and parochial schools. By Peter Hancock
Hundreds of teachers show up at Statehouse to protest plan to repeal teacher tenure
April 5, 2014
Hundreds of teachers gathered Saturday in the Statehouse to let legislators know they opposed a proposal to repeal tenure for teachers as part of a new school finance plan. By Scott Rothschild
Work on lesser prairie chicken bill will continue in the wrap-up session
April 5, 2014
Legislation aimed at keeping the federal government out of Kansas’ lesser prairie chicken problems has been delayed and will be considered again during the wrap-up session, which starts April 30. By Scott Rothschild
Senate agrees to more money for schools; insists on vouchers, eliminating tenure
April 5, 2014
In the first round of conference negotiations on school finance, Republican senators agreed to most of the additional money for schools that the House approved. But they are insisting on provisions to eliminate teacher tenure and offer indirect forms of publicly funded vouchers for private and parochial schools. By Peter Hancock
Anti-Obamacare health care compact approved by Senate, sent to governor
09:02 p.m., April 4, 2014 Updated 09:02 p.m.
The Senate on Friday sent to Gov. Sam Brownback a bill that could put the state in charge of federal health care programs in Kansas, including Medicare. By Scott Rothschild
Bill limiting duration of conservation easements defeated in the Senate
08:57 p.m., April 4, 2014 Updated 08:57 p.m.
A bill that would have limited the duration of conservation easements, which have been used to preserve tallgrass prairie in the Flint Hills and prevent encroachment on military bases, was defeated in the Senate on Friday. By Scott Rothschild
House passes school finance bill on strong bipartisan vote
06:55 p.m., April 4, 2014 Updated 10:28 p.m.
A school finance bill advanced in the Kansas House with bipartisan support today, setting the stage for conference committee negotiations with the Senate. But the two chambers are far apart on policy issues that conservative Republicans want to attach to the bill. By Peter Hancock
Brownback praises Kansas House school funding plan
April 4, 2014
Gov. Sam Brownback says a school funding bill before the Kansas House is a good plan for meeting a state Supreme Court mandate to boost aid to poor school districts.
Kansas House blocks Wichita gambling measure
April 4, 2014
Kansas House members have rejected a proposal that would prohibit slot machines at a closed dog-racing track outside Wichita, even though residents voted in 2007 against having them at the south-central facility.
School finance update: House panel advances “clean” bill; Senate conservatives add more amendments
April 4, 2014
The House budget committee advanced a school finance bill with full funding for “equalization” aid to poor districts, and few cuts to other education spending. But conservatives in the Senate advanced a bill that would defund Common Core standards and testing, provide corporate tax credits for private school scholarships and eliminate teacher tenure. By Scott Rothschild and Peter Hancock