Kansas and regional news

Budget woes threaten highway program, group warns
06:20 p.m., April 23, 2015 Updated 10:46 p.m.
As state revenues have fallen short of projections in recent years, Kansas lawmakers have taken hundreds of millions of dollars out of the State Highway Fund to pay for general government expenses, including education. A nonpartisan think tank issued a report Thursday warning that those raids on highway money now threaten some parts of the state’s 10-year transportation program known as T-Works. By Peter Hancock
Kansas ethics commission questioning some PACs’ names
10:03 a.m., April 23, 2015 Updated 11:15 a.m.
Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s political action committee might have to change its name to meet state ethics requirements and another PAC connected to former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius could face a similar problem, the executive director of the state’s ethics commission said.
Uber expands service to Lawrence, other Kansas cities
09:31 a.m., April 23, 2015 Updated 10:46 p.m.
Ride-hailing company Uber says it is bringing its service to four additional cities in Kansas Thursday, only days after Republican Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed regulatory legislation that the company said would lead it to leave the state.
Brownback does not offer comprehensive plan to fix budget but says he will work with Legislature
08:39 a.m., April 23, 2015 Updated 10:45 p.m.
Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration unveiled a package of modest budget adjustments on Thursday but did not offer a comprehensive plan for filling an estimated $400 million revenue shortfall in next year’s budget. By Peter Hancock
Business group launches Kansas radio campaign on taxes
April 23, 2015
A group representing small business owners has launched statewide radio ads in an effort to push Kansas legislators into keeping one of Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s key income tax policies.
Kansas officials report fewer earthquakes, but can’t yet say why
06:05 p.m., April 22, 2015 Updated 10:45 p.m.
State officials say there has been a sharp decline this month in the number of earthquakes occurring in south-central Kansas. But they say it’s too early to tell whether that’s the result of new regulations restricting the disposal of saltwater from oil and gas wells in the area. By Peter Hancock
Big piece of plan for balancing Kansas budget is in trouble
04:51 p.m., April 22, 2015 Updated 10:41 p.m.
An $80 million piece of Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan for balancing the next state budget is in trouble in the Legislature because a major health insurance company opposes it.
Kaw Nation planning to return to land it owns in Kansas
10:12 a.m., April 22, 2015 Updated 10:45 p.m.
An American Indian tribe is returning to its land in northeast Kansas after nearly 142 years. The Kaw Nation, also called the Kanza, will perform ritual dances Saturday south of Council Grove. It is a step toward establishing a gathering place to educate, promote and preserve the American Indian heritage for a tribe for which the state of Kansas is named.
National reports show tuition rates rising as state funding for higher education declines
April 21, 2015
A pair of national reports released this month say tuition costs around the nation have risen as state and local support for higher education has declined. A similar trend has occurred in Kansas, according to figures from the Kansas Board of Regents. By Peter Hancock
Kansas lawmakers see $25M worth of school funding surprises
05:01 p.m., April 21, 2015 Updated 10:22 p.m.
Kansas faces an additional $25 million hit in its next state budget to provide the aid it promised to public schools — something officials learned less than three weeks after Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed legislation to prevent such surprises.
Tickets available for Abdallah Shrine Rodeo and Demolition Derby
03:16 p.m., April 21, 2015 Updated 10:42 p.m.
Tickets for next month’s Abadllah Shrine Rodeo and Demolition Derby in Tonganoxie are now on sale.
Emerald ash borer traps to be set across Kansas
03:09 p.m., April 21, 2015 Updated 10:18 p.m.
The state and national departments of agriculture will set 163 emerald ash borer traps across Kansas to help prevent the spread of the destructive beetle.
6 Kansas school districts to close early, cite budget cuts
09:54 a.m., April 21, 2015 Updated 10:25 p.m.
At least six school districts in Kansas plan to close a few days early this May because of budget concerns.
Rains slow spring planting in Kansas
April 21, 2015
Heavy rains across Kansas this past week have slowed spring planting due to wet soils.
Kansas Gov. Brownback to take action on bill regulating Uber drivers
April 20, 2015
Gov. Sam Brownback must decide whether to sign a bill that ride-hailing company Uber has said would drive it out of the state if it becomes law.
Abuse, neglect now main reasons Kansas removes children from homes
10:18 a.m., April 20, 2015 Updated 11:39 a.m.
Abuse and neglect are the primary reasons children are being removed from their homes in Kansas, which is a change from the past, according to figures from the Department of Children and Families.
Kansas officials: Early to say fewer quakes due to fracking limits
09:31 a.m., April 20, 2015 Updated 11:05 p.m.
Earthquakes appear to be striking Kansas less frequently but officials say it’s too early to say whether new rules are the reason.
KU, K-State leaders criticize proposed tuition freeze
08:36 a.m., April 20, 2015 Updated 11:06 p.m.
The Kansas University chancellor and Kansas State University president are speaking out against a proposal to freeze college tuition in the state.
Kansas revenue projections for next year contributing to even bigger budget hole
08:21 a.m., April 20, 2015 Updated 11:10 p.m.
State budget officials in Kansas issued a gloomy report Monday that says total revenues flowing into the state are expected to fall 3.5 percent next year, creating an even bigger budget hole for lawmakers to fill when they return next week to wrap up the 2015 session.