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
Lawrence schools, Douglas County prepare for first mail-ballot election
December 20, 2014
After Jan. 7, about 53,000 registered voters in Lawrence can expect to find envelopes in their mailboxes from the Lawrence school district.
Secretive groups ran $25M in ads for state races; Kansas saw the most ads from the groups
December 19, 2014
Shadowy outside groups broadcast an estimated $25 million worth of political ads on local TV stations with a goal of shaping state-level elections this year, and their full roster of donors is unlikely to ever be known, according to an analysis released this week.
Governor seeks study of big changes to KPERS
02:21 p.m., December 19, 2014 Updated 02:53 p.m.
Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget director told a legislative committee Friday that the proposed cuts in contributions to the state’s pension system are only temporary and will not be part of Brownback’s budget proposal for the next two fiscal years.
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