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Kansas government

Douglas County man appealing status as violent sexual predator
January 28, 2015
A Douglas County man who has been judged as a violent sexual predator will ask the Kansas Supreme Court on Friday to overturn that conviction. By Peter Hancock
Kobach pushing bills to limit ballot withdrawals and to allow straight-party voting
05:40 p.m., January 28, 2015 Updated 11:00 p.m.
Last year’s controversy over Democrat Chad Taylor withdrawing from the U.S. Senate race is prompting Secretary of State Kris Kobach to push for changes in the state’s election laws. He also is pushing for legislation to allow voters to cast straight-party ballots. By Peter Hancock
Panel unanimously OKs bill easing employee health care count
January 28, 2015
In a rare show of bipartisanship over President Barack Obama’s health care law, a Senate committee voted unanimously Wednesday to exclude veterans from the 50-worker threshold that triggers required coverage for employees under that statute.
Kansas lawmakers move to block local gun regulations
12:32 p.m., January 28, 2015 Updated 10:56 p.m.
Local officials who already are barred from imposing restrictions on gun owners also would be prohibited from imposing special taxes on gun sales under a bill considered Wednesday by Kansas legislators.
With looming cash crisis, GOP leaders see need to fix Kansas budget quickly
10:42 a.m., January 28, 2015 Updated 11:02 p.m.
Faced with a looming cash-flow crisis, Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration is urging lawmakers to move quickly on a bill to revise this year’s budget before the state runs out of cash to fund schools and health care programs.
New two-lane Wakarusa roundabout may be a little confusing at first, but it’s safer, city official says
08:26 p.m., January 27, 2015 Updated 10:34 p.m.
The Wakarusa roundabout intersecting Inverness and Legends drives has been twisting traffic in the three weeks since its completion. City Engineer David Cronin said that’s the reason roundabouts are preferable to traffic lights or four-way stops: safety. The roundabout’s design keeps speeds low and reduces the number of “conflict points,” or opportunities for collision, thus reducing the likelihood of an injury accident, Cronin said. By Caitlin Doornbos
Senate bill would repeal Common Core standards
04:38 p.m., January 27, 2015 Updated 10:31 p.m.
A Senate bill would repeal many of the new academic standards adopted by the Kansas State Board of Education and would make future standards merely advisory for local school districts. By Peter Hancock
Kansas bill targets patent trolls
04:25 p.m., January 27, 2015 Updated 10:29 p.m.
Business and banking groups say their members are being targeted by companies that demand licensing payments based on bogus claims of owning patents or trademarks. A bill being considered in the Senate would prohibit that activity and give the Attorney General authority to seek civil damages against such companies. By Peter Hancock
Kansas House moves to stop wee-hours sessions, bill bundling
03:14 p.m., January 27, 2015 Updated 05:11 p.m.
Kansas House members moved Tuesday to eliminate post-midnight meetings and make it harder to bundle multiple measures into a single bill, two longstanding practices critics see as causing sloppy lawmaking.
Kansas bill would ban use of carbon monoxide to euthanize animals
January 27, 2015
A Kansas House committee is considering a bill that would ban the use of carbon monoxide to euthanize animals.
Kansas measure would boost penalties for burglaries
08:34 a.m., January 27, 2015 Updated 03:13 p.m.
A bill in the Kansas Senate would stiffen penalties for home burglaries, but senators are worried that the measure might further strain the state’s crowded prisons.
Brownback’s tax proposals panned by anti-tax activist
January 26, 2015
National anti-tax activist Grover Norquist is urging Kansas legislators to reject Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposals to increase the state’s tobacco and alcohol taxes to help close state budget shortfalls.
Kansas geologist says fracking not the cause of earthquakes
05:52 p.m., January 26, 2015 Updated 10:33 p.m.
The recent spate of minor earthquakes in south-central Kansas is more likely caused by the disposal of saltwater, a byproduct of oil drilling, than the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” One quake in November registered 4.9 on the Richter scale, the strongest temblor ever recorded in Kansas. By Peter Hancock
Ex-executive seeks to toss extortion claims from Kansas Medicaid suit
01:48 p.m., January 26, 2015 Updated 10:35 p.m.
A former executive of the firm managing part of the privatized Medicaid program in Kansas has asked a judge to toss out counterclaims accusing her of trying to extort $3 million.
Kansas House committee working on plan to expand Medicaid
12:39 p.m., January 26, 2015 Updated 10:34 p.m.
Hospital officials gave their backing Monday to a Kansas House committee’s effort to expand the state Medicaid program to capture additional dollars under the federal health care overhaul, despite opposition to the plan from Republican leaders.

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