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Politics

Thousands in Lawrence brave lines for ‘golden ticket’ to Obama’s speech
11:28 a.m., January 20, 2015 Updated 10:25 p.m.
For admission to what several described as a once-in-a-lifetime experience, thousands of Kansas University students got up early and stood in line a long time. “He’s the president,” said law student Brian Vanorsby, who arrived at 4 a.m. and was second in line. “I can say I was in the same room as him — a big room, but the same nonetheless.” Free-but-limited tickets to President Barack Obama’s speech at KU, set for Thursday morning at Anschutz Sports Pavilion, were made available starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday. By Sara Shepherd
Kansas bill to require body cameras gets support, raises questions
02:06 p.m., January 19, 2015 Updated 11:01 p.m.
Legislation requiring Kansas law enforcement officers to be equipped with body cameras has gained bipartisan support in the first days of the new session, but questions about costs have raised some concerns.
Douglas County Democrats gearing up for tax fight
01:56 p.m., January 19, 2015 Updated 11:01 p.m.
Several Douglas County Democrats gathered at a bar Sunday night in North Lawrence to gear up for legislative battles over Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget proposal. But the Democratic caucus in the Legislature still has not articulated a response to the proposed budget. By Peter Hancock
President Obama to speak Thursday morning at KU; tickets available Tuesday
11:48 a.m., January 19, 2015 Updated 11:01 p.m.
President Barack Obama’s visit to Kansas University will be highlighted by public remarks Thursday at Anschutz Sports Pavilion, the White House announced Monday.
Kansas lawmakers and lobbyists go to work on budget, school funding, Medicaid and more
January 18, 2015
Gov. Sam Brownback outlined his budget proposals Friday. Now, negotiations begin in the House and Senate, where key committees will begin holding hearings on Tuesday. The process typically takes through the end of the session in May. Meanwhile, there are many other non-budget issues on the table. By Peter Hancock
Kansas quakes likely caused by disposal of saltwater that results from oil and gas fracking process
January 17, 2015
Kansas officials have been reluctant to link the mysterious earthquakes in south central Kansas to fracking, but last week they said for the first time that the temblors are likely caused by disposal of the waste water that is a byproduct of the oil and gas extraction process. “We can say there is a strong coalition between the disposal of saltwater and the earthquakes,” Rick Miller, geophysicist and senior scientist for the Kansas Geological Survey, told the Journal-World. It’s the first time state officials have so clearly stated the likely cause of the earthquakes, which are afflicting a region where fracking is widely used. By Karen Dillon
KU cites $3.9M for law enforcement training center as a top legislative priority
January 17, 2015
Kansas University hopes the Legislature will find another $3.9 million a year to offset lower-than-projected revenue for the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center, which the university runs in western Kansas as part of its continuing education program. With the state facing a massive budget shortfall this year, that’s a tall order. But KU and center leaders say not getting the money could put the center at risk for defaulting on bond payments and force “catastrophic program and personnel cuts.” By Sara Shepherd
President Obama to visit Lawrence next week
06:44 p.m., January 16, 2015 Updated 08:11 p.m.
President Barack Obama is coming to Lawrence next week, the White House has announced. The president will visit Kansas University on Thursday “to discuss the themes he’ll lay out in his State of the Union address,” White House spokesman Keith Maley told the Journal-World on Friday night. “Our community will be honored to welcome President Obama to the University of Kansas,” Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said Friday night.
Brownback budget cuts K-12 education, holds higher education funding flat
05:29 p.m., January 16, 2015 Updated 10:42 p.m.
Higher education officials feel relieved that Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget proposal does not call for cutting any of their funding. But K-12 schools would lose more than $100 million through a sweeping change in the funding system that threatens to complicate the ongoing school finance lawsuit. By Peter Hancock
U.S. Supreme Court will decide gay marriage issue this term
02:34 p.m., January 16, 2015 Updated 03:12 p.m.
Setting the stage for a potentially historic ruling, the Supreme Court says it will decide whether same-sex couples nationwide have a right to marry under the Constitution.
State of the Kansas Judiciary address to be webcast live
January 16, 2015
Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss is giving the State of the Judiciary address next Wednesday from the courtroom of the Supreme Court.
Kansas governor seeks tax increases to address budget woes
08:00 a.m., January 16, 2015 Updated 09:50 a.m.
Kansas would nearly triple its cigarette tax, raise taxes on alcohol and slow down promised income tax cuts to balance its budget under proposals Republican Gov. Sam Brownback outlined Friday.
Lesser prairie-chicken conservation plan receives windfall
January 15, 2015
Kansas fish and wildlife officials are saying that the plan to protect the endangered lesser prairie-chicken has raised nearly double the expected revenue in its first year.
Supporters of medical marijuana rally at Kansas Statehouse
08:56 a.m., January 15, 2015 Updated 03:52 p.m.
Supporters of medical marijuana in Kansas have joined two Democratic state lawmakers at a Statehouse rally in favor of a bill legalizing marijuana for medical use.
City commissioners get earful on why police headquarters plan failed
09:12 p.m., January 14, 2015 Updated 10:15 p.m.
At the first of two scheduled “listening sessions,” Lawrence city commissioners on Wednesday heard nearly 90 minutes worth of reasons why people rejected the proposed sales tax that would have paid for the headquarters. By Chad Lawhorn