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Kansas and regional news

Fate of man who jumped from jail window still unknown
July 4, 2014
State and federal officials this week were unable to say whatever happened to Alberto Contreras Gonzalez, who left Kansas University Hospital holding a nearly $140,000 medical bill. His case was the subject of a recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling. By Peter Hancock
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Homeland Security bill includes final funding for NBAF
March 4, 2015
A bill that provides funding for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through the end of the fiscal year includes $300 million to complete construction of a National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility at Kansas State University in Manhattan. Both U.S. senators and all four House members from Kansas voted against that bill, mainly due to disagreements with the Obama administration over immigration policy. By Peter Hancock
Brownback softens stance on Medicaid expansion
06:26 p.m., March 4, 2015 Updated 10:41 p.m.
Gov. Sam Brownback suggested Wednesday that he may be open to the possibility of expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, although he still has strong reservations. His comments to a group of insurance agents came as the Kansas House is preparing to hold hearings on at least two Medicaid expansion proposals. By Peter Hancock
KU Lawrence campus asked to give up $9.4 million, mainly for medical school
05:47 p.m., March 4, 2015 Updated 10:46 p.m.
A budget subcommittee of the Kansas Senate is proposing to transfer funding for Kansas University’s Lawrence campus to the KU Medical Center to expand its residency program in Wichita that trains doctors to practice in rural areas. The full Ways and Means Committee will consider that proposal Thursday. By Peter Hancock
Kansas governor touts tax policy to Missouri lawmakers
04:29 p.m., March 4, 2015 Updated 10:46 p.m.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is touting to Missouri lawmakers what he says is right with his state because of new tax policies.
Man convicted of 1999 rape and robbery at shoe store challenges 54-year sentence
03:32 p.m., March 4, 2015 Updated 10:39 p.m.
A 54-year-old man convicted of a 1999 rape and robbery at Payless ShoeSource, 3231 Iowa St., is challenging the 54-year prison sentence Douglas County District Judge Paula Martin handed down in 2001.
Praeger to receive League of Women Voters award
11:25 a.m., March 4, 2015 Updated 10:39 p.m.
Former Kansas Insurance Commissioner and former Lawrence Mayor Sandy Praeger will receive the Lawrence-Douglas County League of Women Voters’ 2015 Helen Fluker Open and Accessible Government award this weekend.
Kansas Senate panel grills Brownback judge appointee
08:45 a.m., March 4, 2015 Updated 10:33 p.m.
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s appointee to the Kansas Court of Appeals got a chilly reception Wednesday at her first confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Hunt for savings marks Kansas lawmakers’ second-half start
08:42 a.m., March 4, 2015 Updated 01:09 p.m.
Kansas legislators are returning to the Statehouse for the second part of their annual session with big budget debates looming but topics such as lobbying laws and rules for social services programs also on their agenda.
Kansas Supreme Court deciding whether to take school finance appeal
March 3, 2015
A three-judge district court panel has postponed a hearing in the school finance lawsuit while the Kansas Supreme Court decides whether to take up an immediate appeal in the case. Meanwhile, the Shawnee Mission school district has filed a motion to intervene in the case. By Peter Hancock
House passes Homeland Security funding; all Kansas members vote no
04:44 p.m., March 3, 2015 Updated 10:24 p.m.
All four U.S. House members from Kansas voted against a bill Tuesday that funds the Department of Homeland Security through the end of the fiscal year. The bill, which passed by a vote of 257-167, had been tied up over partisan disagreements over immigration policy. By Peter Hancock
Report: Kansas wheat faring mostly well so far this winter
March 3, 2015
Kansas wheat crops and livestock are in generally positive shape so far this winter.
Kansas to hold meetings, consider options for drone usage
March 3, 2015
Kansas is exploring how it fits in the new world of drones as residents express their desire to use the technology.
Kansas Supreme Court sets deadline for school finance motions
09:48 p.m., March 2, 2015 Updated 10:19 p.m.
Plaintiffs in the ongoing school finance lawsuit have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to file a motion stating whether they want the Supreme Court to hear an appeal of the latest lower court order, or if they want the case to stay in the hands of a three-judge panel which has been asked to reconsider its last decision. By Peter Hancock
Westar asking Kansas regulators for $152M rate increase
March 2, 2015
The largest supplier of electricity in Kansas is asking state regulators to increase its rates by $152 million annually to cover upgrades at power plants and other costs.
Kansas congressional delegation splits over Homeland Security funding
05:43 p.m., March 2, 2015 Updated 10:25 p.m.
All four U.S. House members from Kansas supported a bill Friday that kept the U.S. Department of Homeland Security open for another week, but both of the state’s U.S. senators opposed it. The battle between Republican-controlled Congress and Democratic President Barack Obama centers on the president’s executive orders on immigration policy. By Peter Hancock
Kansas Senate panel to have hearing on appeals court nominee
09:53 a.m., March 2, 2015 Updated 10:31 p.m.
A Kansas Senate committee is having a hearing this week on Gov. Sam Brownback’s appointment of a new judge to the state Court of Appeals.
Analysis: Moderates flex muscle in first half of 2015 Kansas Legislative session
March 1, 2015
There was plenty of conservative legislation in the first half of the 2015 session, on issues dealing with gun rights, abortion and sex education. But in the final days before the “turnaround” deadline, moderates began showing strength on issues including teacher contract negotiations, municipal elections and even the possibility of Medicaid expansion. By Peter Hancock
Kansas school funding plan aimed at ending budget surprises
March 1, 2015
Top Republican officials in Kansas who hope to eliminate a budget deficit while sustaining personal income tax cuts are working on a plan to overhaul the state’s system for funding public schools in a way that would prevent unanticipated demands for new spending.
Kansas legislators take break until Wednesday
February 28, 2015
Kansas legislators are on break until Wednesday. State lawmakers usually take several days off after the “turnaround” deadline that passed Friday. Most bills that have not been approved by their chamber of origin were discarded after the Friday deadline.

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