Kansas government

University leaders say liberal arts programs are struggling for recognition, respect
December 18, 2014
Leaders of university liberal arts programs told the Kansas Board of Regents that traditional liberal arts programs produce value for the economy and society at large. But in an era when universities are under pressure to produce more doctors, engineers and business professionals, liberal arts programs have become a lower priority in funding and the hiring of faculty. By Peter Hancock
More Kansas government
Smaller universities want multiyear coaching contracts
December 17, 2014
Pittsburg State University and other NCAA Division II schools in Kansas want the Kansas Board of Regents to let them sign multiyear contracts with their athletics coaches. But others don’t want to see the excesses of Division I athletics spread to the smaller universities. By Peter Hancock
KU Hospital undergoing major reorganization
December 17, 2014
Kansas University’s hospital and school of medicine are in the process of merging all of their clinical organizations in response to rapid changes in the health care marketplace. But officials told the Kansas Board of Regents Wednesday that those changes may not be enough for the health network to survive in coming years if Kansas doesn’t expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. By Peter Hancock
Brownback rejects Salina newspaper records request for 3rd time
01:14 p.m., December 17, 2014 Updated 05:28 p.m.
The Kansas governor’s office insists that the public doesn’t have the right to know who it’s considering to fill two new positions on the Saline County Commission.
New Kansas House minority leader appoints chief of staff from Lawrence
December 17, 2014
New Kansas House Minority Leader Tom Burroughs has filled three staff positions.
Jenkins hears about immigration, budget at Lawrence town hall meeting
December 16, 2014
Rep. Lynn Jenkins told a Lawrence audience Tuesday that immigration will be the No. 1 priority for Republicans when the next Congress convenes in January. She also fielded questions about the recently passed spending bill that included rolling back regulations on banking, the environment and school lunches. By Peter Hancock
Kansas updates fish consumption advisory
December 15, 2014
State health officials warn people to limit consumption of fish caught in certain lakes and rivers in Kansas, including the Kansas River between Lawrence and Eudora, because of contamination. The list is updated annually. This year, two bodies of water have been taken off the advisory list. By Peter Hancock
Kansas school efficiency panel reaches few agreements for new legislation
December 15, 2014
A task force set up by the Legislature to study ways schools can be more efficient agreed on only one bill to recommend to the Legislature next year. That would set up a process to define the new standards laid out by the Kansas Supreme Court to determine whether the state is adequately funding public schools. But the group was sharply divided on other proposals such as encouraging districts to consolidate administrative services, forcing them to spend down cash reserves, and limiting the scope of collective bargaining. By Peter Hancock
Salina newspaper in open records fight with state
December 15, 2014
Kansas can avoid litigation if the governor’s office follows the state’s open records laws and releases the name of candidates seeking one of two new seats on the Saline County Commission, a newspaper publisher said this week.
Torture report says little on Pat Roberts’ role
December 14, 2014
Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas chaired the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during the time the CIA engaged in its program of “enhanced interrogation techniques.” But a report released by the committee this week criticizing that program says little about Roberts’ role as head of the oversight panel. By Peter Hancock
Brownback: It’s up to Legislature to cut budget
December 14, 2014
A new budget report released this week says Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan for balancing the current fiscal year’s budget will only add to next year’s budget problems, creating a $648 million hole in fiscal year 2016. That’s because most of what Brownback recommended only involves transfers of money between various funds and not actual spending cuts. But in an interview this week, Brownback defended his plan and said the Legislature needs to be involved in making actual cuts. By Peter Hancock
New Kansas insurance regulator: Focus on market
December 14, 2014
The accountant and industry executive taking over as Kansas’ top insurance regulator next month says creating a more robust market is a top goal and argues that greater competition will address problems with the federal health care overhaul.
Jenkins says conservatives won in $1.1 trillion spending bill
December 12, 2014
The bill to fund most of the federal government through the end of the fiscal year cuts the EPA’s budget by 21 percent and prohibits the agency from extending Clean Water Act regulations to small ponds, drainage ditches and creeks. Kansas farmers and ranchers had worried about the impact of such a move, although EPA said the criticisms were unfounded. By Peter Hancock