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Politics

Kansas budget gaps have lawmakers mulling taxes
03:49 p.m., November 18, 2014 Updated 05:30 p.m.
Kansas’ projected budget shortfalls have some Republican legislators weighing proposals to backtrack on tax-cutting policies championed by Gov. Sam Brownback, but House budget committee members said Tuesday that should be a last resort.
Western Kansas streams endangered because of low aquifer levels
03:46 p.m., November 18, 2014 Updated 04:50 p.m.
Western Kansas has lost many of its major perennial streams because farmers have pumped extreme amounts of water from the Ogallala Aquifer, water experts were told Tuesday. Jim Butler, geohydrology section chief with the Kansas Geological Survey, spoke at the Big 12 Universities Water Workshop at Kansas University about the dire situation with the Ogallala Aquifer. By Karen Dillon
Rockefeller biographer to speak Sunday at Dole Institute
November 17, 2014
Former Dole Institute of Politics director, historian and author Richard Norton Smith will discuss his new biography, “On His Own Terms: A Life of Nelson Rockefeller” Sunday in Lawrence.
Lawmakers worry KPERS may be target during revenue shortfall
11:44 a.m., November 17, 2014 Updated 01:10 p.m.
The state’s troubled pension fund has been showing renewed signs of health in recent years due to strong gains in the stock market and reforms that increased contributions into the system. But some lawmakers say that could come undone if the state cuts back on contributions to address a looming $715 million revenue shortfall. By Peter Hancock
Kansas Supreme Court deliberates gay marriage case; retired Douglas County judge sits as substitute
10:18 a.m., November 17, 2014 Updated 04:36 p.m.
The Kansas Supreme Court debated Monday whether to authorize same-sex marriage licenses as gay couples made their own plans following favorable federal court rulings.
Shelter in Kansas City won’t house gay couples
08:27 a.m., November 17, 2014 Updated 09:45 a.m.
A nonprofit homeless shelter in Kansas City will not allow legally married same-sex couples to stay overnight together because officials believe those relationships violate biblical principles.
Peck to challenge Merrick for Kansas House Speaker
November 17, 2014
A southeast Kansas Republican who has faced criticism for comparing illegal immigrants to feral hogs and joking that they should be shot plans to challenge Ray Merrick as speaker of the Kansas House.
Strings attached’: Mental health treatment required to get this rent subsidy
November 16, 2014
Ruby DoMoe spent years bouncing from hospital to homeless shelter to friends’ couches to battered women’s shelter and back again. That lifestyle only made her mental illness worse. Which made her ability to maintain housing worse. “It was chaos,” DoMoe said. “It was just darkness and chaos all the time, drama coming from every direction. There was no letting up.” Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center has a program for people like DoMoe, who need more than just financial help to maintain stable housing. The HOME Tenant Based Rental Assistance program — part of Bert Nash’s Community Support Services for people with severe and persistent mental illness — provides a rent subsidy bolstered by intensive mental health treatment. By Sara Shepherd
Voter ID fight in the hands of state courts, Legislature
November 16, 2014
The fight over a voter proof-of-citizenship law that prevented about 22,000 Kansas residents from casting ballots on Election Day has shifted back to state courts and lawmakers.
K-12 efficiency panel debates while school finance decision looms
November 15, 2014
A panel set up by the 2014 Legislature plans to finalize recommendations next month on how public schools in Kansas can make more efficient use of their money. Meanwhile, officials are anxiously awaiting a decision by a three-judge panel that could order the state to add hundreds of millions of dollars to the state education budget. By Peter Hancock
Costs for Kansas insurance plans remain stable
November 15, 2014
Kansas consumers signing up for health insurance on the federally-run online marketplace will pay about the same next year, a new report shows.
Filings lay out arguments in gay marriage case
November 14, 2014
Attorney General Derek Schmidt urged the state Supreme Court on Friday not to “unnecessarily” abandon Kansas’ ban on same-sex marriages until a final constitutional determination on the issue is made by the nation’s highest court.
5 things to know about health care
November 14, 2014
A second year of insurance signups under the federal health care overhaul begins this weekend with the Republican-dominated state government in Kansas still largely hostile to it and supportive state Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger nearing the end of her time in office.
Keystone: House sends oil pipeline bill to Senate
November 14, 2014
Congress inched closer Friday to a possible showdown with President Barack Obama over the Keystone XL oil pipeline as the Republican-controlled House approved the project. Supporters in the Democratic-run Senate predicted they will get the 60 votes needed to pass it next week.
Douglas County election canvass finds 26 ballots rejected over citizenship
November 14, 2014
The Douglas County Board of Canvassers completed counting provisional ballots from the Nov. 4 election. Although the final count did not change the results of any races, it confirmed that 26 ballots were rejected because the voters had not shown proof of U.S. citizenship.By Peter Hancock