Kansas government

Former Dole Institute director shares stories of Nelson Rockefeller
November 23, 2014
Richard Norton Smith, the founding director of Kansas University’s Dole Institute of Politics, returned to the KU campus Sunday afternoon to discuss his new book, “On His Own Terms: A Life of Nelson Rockefeller.” Smith, a presidential historian and author, spoke to a packed house at the Dole Institute about the making of the biography — an endeavor spanning more than a decade — and what he learned along the way.
School funding suit complicates Kansas budget fix
November 23, 2014
Even before state courts decide whether Kansas spends enough money on its public schools, a lawsuit over education funding is complicating efforts by legislators and Gov. Sam Brownback to close the state’s projected budget shortfalls.
Kansas prisons grapple with ‘dangerous’ staffing shortages
November 22, 2014
Low wages and poor working conditions make it hard for the Kansas Department of Corrections to recruit and retain guards who watch over the state’s most violent criminals. But one Republican leader says guards might have to trade retirement benefits for pay raises. By Peter Hancock
Former Dole Institute director pens extensive Rockefeller biography
November 22, 2014
In the prologue of “On His Own Terms: A Life of Nelson Rockefeller,” the subject’s longtime personal assistant Joe Canzeri compares him to a 16-slice pizza pie, with no one but his second wife, Happy, having access to more than three of four slices.
Lawmakers study pros and cons of moving municipal elections to November
November 21, 2014
An interim committee is studying proposals to move municipal elections from the spring to November, and possibly making them partisan. Many Douglas County officials think that’s a bad idea, but they do say there are other options to increase voter participation. By Peter Hancock
Kansas secretary of state Kobach to seek expanded power
November 21, 2014
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says that next year he’ll revive a proposal to give his office the power to prosecute election fraud cases.
ACLU to amend gay-marriage lawsuit against Kansas
09:59 a.m., November 21, 2014 Updated 11:37 a.m.
The lawyer suing to overturn Kansas’ ban on same-sex marriage plans to amend the lawsuit to try to win state benefits for gay couples already married.
Kansas Democrats’ petition seeks to oust Republican House speaker
09:24 a.m., November 20, 2014 Updated 11:58 a.m.
Kansas Democrats are seeking to remove House Speaker Ray Merrick from his leadership post because of disparaging remarks he made about government employees, but party leaders acknowledge they don’t have much of a say in who holds that position.
Kansas agencies not recognizing gay marriages yet
08:29 a.m., November 20, 2014 Updated 03:03 p.m.
Same-sex couples can get married in Kansas, but some state agencies haven’t changed policies that would allow them to do such things as change their names on driver’s licenses.
Kansas senators decry Keystone measure’s rejection
November 19, 2014
Kansas U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts are predicting that the Senate will move quickly to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline once fellow Republicans take control in January.
Universities to seek increase in room and board rates
November 19, 2014
State universities in Kansas are seeking increases in rates for room and board in their student housing programs for next year, including a 2.9 percent increase at Kansas University. The Kansas Board of Regents will vote to finalize the rates in December. By Peter Hancock
Regents, university officials fear budget cuts ahead
November 19, 2014
Higher education officials in Kansas are growing concerned that they may be the target of major budget cuts as the state tries to fill a projected $715 million revenue shortfall. Proposals being circulated include sweeping tuition fund balances, changing the block grant system for universities and moving to a “performance based” budgeting process. By Peter Hancock
Kansas attorney general wants gay marriage clarity
November 19, 2014
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Wednesday that his vigorous defense of the state’s gay marriage ban is designed to get a final decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.
Disabilities advocate chosen for this year’s Dole Leadership Prize
November 19, 2014
The 2014 Dole Leadership Prize will go to the leader of a network of nonprofit groups with a mission of educating, employing and empowering children and adults with disabilities. John Kemp, who himself uses four prostheses, is president and CEO of The Viscardi Center based in Albertson, N.Y.
Lawmakers seek more regulation of mental health drugs
November 18, 2014
A legislative oversight committee agreed Tuesday to recommend considering repeal of a law that prohibits the state Medicaid system from regulating the use of mental health drugs. A recent federal study showed Kansas has the third highest rate in the nation of nursing home patients being prescribed powerful antipsychotic medications. By Peter Hancock