Kansas government

Proposal to hike ag land taxes spawns backlash from Kansas farmers
09:13 a.m., February 26, 2015 Updated 10:17 p.m.
A suburban lawmaker’s proposal that would dramatically increase property taxes on Kansas agricultural land has spawned strong rural backlash and nagging fears that pieces of it will pop up in legislation to close a state budget shortfall.
School board candidates discuss budget cuts, Common Core at forum
February 25, 2015
The four candidates competing for a two-year term on the Lawrence school board found little to argue about Wednesday night when they gathered to outline their positions on various issues.
Lawmaker challenges legality of Brownback’s budget proposal for Kansas judiciary
06:02 p.m., February 25, 2015 Updated 10:16 p.m.
A Democratic lawmaker says Gov. Sam Brownback may have violated state law by cutting more than $50 million over the next two years from the budget request of the Kansas judiciary. Rep. John Carmichael, of Wichita, is asking Attorney General Derek Schmidt for a formal legal opinion. By Peter Hancock
Kansas House rejects bill limiting teacher negotiations; passes compromise alternative
04:46 p.m., February 25, 2015 Updated 10:17 p.m.
The Kansas House rejected a bill Wednesday that would have eliminated the exclusive right of teachers unions to negotiate contracts with school districts. Instead, it advanced a bill reflecting a compromise worked out between the state’s major education groups over what issues should be negotiated between teachers and school districts. By Peter Hancock
Kansas moving toward allowing concealed guns without permit
12:29 p.m., February 25, 2015 Updated 10:09 p.m.
The Kansas Senate is expected to approve a bill that would allow people to carry concealed guns without requiring them to get a state permit or take training classes.
Bill limiting candidate withdrawals advances in Kansas House
11:22 a.m., February 25, 2015 Updated 10:14 p.m.
House Bill 2104 is a response to the controversy last year when Democrat Chad Taylor withdrew from the U.S. Senate race against Republican Pat Roberts. It would prohibit candidates withdrawing from a race after June 1 of the election year unless the candidate dies. It would also require parties to replace candidates on the ballot if there is a vacancy. By Peter Hancock
Kansas lawmakers consider cutting funding for Parents as Teachers
08:53 a.m., February 25, 2015 Updated 09:23 a.m.
A Kansas House committee has recommended cutting all funding for the Parents as Teachers program, which would end the program.
Kansas anti-strip club bill does not advance before deadline
08:50 a.m., February 25, 2015 Updated 12:23 p.m.
A bill that would heavily restrict sexually oriented businesses did not advance as Kansas lawmakers face key deadlines.
Mental health drug regulation bill advances in Kansas Senate
February 24, 2015
State Medicaid officials would have more ability to control the prescription of mental health drugs under a bill scheduled for final action Wednesday. Mental health advocates strongly oppose the bill, but supporters say it will protect patients and save money for the state. By Peter Hancock
Kansas bill limiting sex education material advances with no debate
06:58 p.m., February 24, 2015 Updated 10:19 p.m.
Many Democrats were out of the chamber when the Kansas Senate took up a bill that would allow teachers to be prosecuted for displaying sex education material deemed inappropriate for children. The bill advanced to final action Wednesday with no debate. By Peter Hancock
Kansas Senate advances bill giving Kobach power to prosecute election crimes
06:49 p.m., February 24, 2015 Updated 10:14 p.m.
The Kansas Senate advanced a bill that would give the secretary of state authority to prosecute election crimes. A final vote is expected Wednesday. By Peter Hancock
KU taking piecemeal approach to $4.8 million budget cuts for current fiscal year
06:08 p.m., February 24, 2015 Updated 10:21 p.m.
Responding to statewide spending cuts announced earlier this month by Gov. Sam Brownback, needed to close a budget gap created by lower-than-projected state revenue, KU leaders are discussing how to trim $2.7 million from the Lawrence campus budget and $2.1 from KU Medical Center for this fiscal year, which ends June 30.
Kansas lawmakers resume battle over immigrant tuition
04:15 p.m., February 24, 2015 Updated 10:16 p.m.
Kansas lawmakers are again debating a bill to repeal a 2004 law allowing undocumented immigrants who otherwise meet residency requirements to pay in-state tuition at Kansas colleges and Universities. The bill would affect 651 students currently enrolled in the state’s Regents universities, community colleges and technical schools. By Peter Hancock
Defying GOP, Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline bill
03:55 p.m., February 24, 2015 Updated 10:14 p.m.
Defying the Republican-run Congress, President Barack Obama rejected a bill Tuesday to approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, wielding his veto power for only the third time in his presidency. Obama offered no indication of whether he’ll eventually issue a permit for the pipeline, whose construction has become a flashpoint in the U.S. debate about environmental policy and climate change. Instead, Obama sought to reassert his authority to make the decision himself, rebuffing GOP lawmakers who will control both the House and Senate for the remainder of the president’s term.
Effects of Kansas business tax break more widespread than estimated
02:30 p.m., February 24, 2015 Updated 03:50 p.m.
Kansas officials acknowledge that a tax exemption championed as an economic stimulus by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has helped 90,000 more business owners than previously anticipated, but the state’s revenue chief said Tuesday the policy shouldn’t be blamed for the state’s budget problems.