Kansas and regional news

Kansas House approves bill to limit greenhouse gas emissions
09:19 a.m., March 25, 2015 Updated 10:13 p.m.
The Kansas House has approved a bill requiring the state to draft a plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants but allowing legislators to have a say in its contents.
Kansas to join states allowing concealed guns without permit
09:18 a.m., March 25, 2015 Updated 07:37 a.m.
Kansas is poised to join a handful of other states that allow their residents to carry concealed firearms without a permit after the Legislature gave final approval Wednesday to a bill backed by the National Rifle Association.
Kansas set for 1st ban on a 2nd trimester abortion procedure
09:17 a.m., March 25, 2015 Updated 07:38 a.m.
Kansas legislators Wednesday approved a proposed ban on a common second-trimester procedure described by abortion opponents as dismembering a fetus, making their state the first to adopt a national group’s model policy.
Bill lists grounds for impeaching Kansas high court justices
March 24, 2015
A proposal has been introduced in the Kansas Senate to spell out grounds for impeaching state Supreme Court justices, and the list includes attempting to usurp the Legislature’s authority.
Senate advances bill to keep successful candidates on ballot after primary
March 24, 2015
The bill was proposed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to address controversy in last year’s elections, when Democrat Chad Taylor withdrew from the U.S. Senate race. By Peter Hancock
New school finance plan draws guarded support
05:19 p.m., March 24, 2015 Updated 09:57 p.m.
A bill that would phase in a new kind of school finance formula over the next three years drew guarded support from some school districts and surprising interest from some education groups during a legislative committee hearing Tuesday. By Peter Hancock
Kansas House advances bill on EPA emissions plan
02:47 p.m., March 24, 2015 Updated 10:05 p.m.
The Kansas House has advanced a bill to set up a greenhouse gas reduction plan.
Kansas Senate approves plan to control mental health drugs
March 24, 2015
The Kansas Senate has approved a new proposal for controlling the cost of mental health drugs in the state’s Medicaid program.
House advances bill to reduce civil service protections
08:35 a.m., March 24, 2015 Updated 10:04 p.m.
A bill that would potentially shrink civil service protections for some employees has advanced in the Kansas House.
Kansas designates Wednesday as Military Appreciation Day
March 24, 2015
Gov. Sam Brownback has proclaimed Wednesday as Military Appreciation Day in Kansas.
Senate committee to hear proposal for new school finance formula
05:59 p.m., March 23, 2015 Updated 10:51 p.m.
Senate Education Committee Chairman Steve Abrams, R-Arkansas City, has introduced a new school finance formula that would return the state to a per-pupil funding system, but would significantly change the kinds of weightings used to provide additional money for higher-cost students and districts. The panel will hold a hearing on the bill Tuesday. By Peter Hancock
Lawrence man sentenced to 7 years in synthetic marijuana case
05:08 p.m., March 23, 2015 Updated 10:42 p.m.
A Lawrence man who helped create a global market for synthetic marijuana and other designer drugs was sentenced Monday to seven years in federal prison.
New plan to control mental health drugs advances in Kansas
March 23, 2015
A new proposal for controlling the cost of mental health drugs to the Medicaid program in Kansas has advanced in the Legislature.
Kansas Senate panel reworks budget as support in House erodes
03:10 p.m., March 23, 2015 Updated 10:51 p.m.
The Senate Ways and Means Committee decided to keep a $9.4 million cut to the Kansas University campus in Lawrence, but deletes the transfer of that money to the KU Medical Center campus in Wichita. It also deleted a proposed $2 million increase in student financial aid, but left in a requirement that 75 percent of the remaining aid go to students from private independent colleges. The changes were in response to a growing perception that the House may not have enough votes to pass its own bill. By Peter Hancock
Schools struggle to bring students, teachers to rural Kansas districts
March 23, 2015
More than two-thirds of Kansas’ school districts are classified as rural by the U.S. Department of Education, and another quarter are town districts. Together they educate just over half of the state’s students. Yet many face challenges related to low enrollment, to their distance from cities or to serving wide swaths of land, and to budget cuts linked to the 2008 recession and the state’s 2012 cuts to income tax.
Kansas farmers fund new research to breed gluten-free wheat
09:53 a.m., March 23, 2015 Updated 10:09 p.m.
New research funded by farmers aims to breed a wheat variety for people who can’t eat wheat and other grains, an endeavor that comes as wider consumer interest in gluten-free foods is booming.
Kansas patrol chief’s appointment endorsed by Senate panel
09:51 a.m., March 23, 2015 Updated 01:08 p.m.
Gov. Sam Brownback’s appointment of a veteran Kansas Highway Patrol officer as the agency’s superintendent has been endorsed by a state Senate committee.
Federal official criticizes Brownback stance on food stamps
08:40 a.m., March 23, 2015 Updated 04:51 p.m.
A federal official criticized Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s stance for reforming the federal food stamps program while attending a news conference with the governor on Monday.
Kansas Legislature mulls slashing green energy incentives
March 22, 2015
Renewable energy groups say two proposals in the Kansas Legislature would threaten the young industry’s existence by shortening a lifetime property tax exemption for wind and solar farms and imposing a 4.33 percent excise tax on ethanol fuel and renewable electricity.