Kansas and regional news

Rural district’s sacrifice illustrates depth of Kansas schools’ budget woes
May 14, 2015
Mike Sanders, superintendent of the Skyline school district in Pratt County, resigned his $81,000 a year job this week, saying that would prevent the district from having to cut more staff. Sanders said rising costs and the lack of state funding are forcing the district of 421 students to make difficult choices. By Peter Hancock
Kansas lawmakers strike deal to keep Uber in state
08:18 p.m., May 14, 2015 Updated 10:17 p.m.
Kansas lawmakers say they have come to a regulatory agreement that will keep ride-hailing company Uber in the state.
Kansas lawmakers frustrated as session heads into overtime
07:51 p.m., May 14, 2015 Updated 10:57 p.m.
The 2015 Kansas legislative session will extend into next week, exceeding the traditional 90-day limit, as House and Senate leaders struggle to find agreement on a package of tax increases to balance the state’s budget. Lawrence-area lawmakers are expressing frustration. By Peter Hancock
Kansas governor signs bill overhauling civil service system
May 14, 2015
Kansas is likely to reduce the number of state workers in its civil service system after Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed legislation allowing his administration to do it.
Kansas lawmakers repeal clean energy standards; elections bill delayed
05:30 p.m., May 14, 2015 Updated 10:43 p.m.
The Kansas House passed and sent to the Senate a bill that repeals the state’s renewable energy standards for electric utilities and makes them voluntary goals. But it delayed voting on a bill to move state and local elections from spring to November of odd-numbered years. By Peter Hancock
Kansas Senate panel tinkers but isn’t ready to pass tax plan
03:20 p.m., May 14, 2015 Updated 10:57 p.m.
A Kansas Senate committee on Thursday junked proposals from its chairman to increase taxes on alcohol and homeowners before he declared that work on closing a budget shortfall was “going down a dead end street” and cut off its discussions.
Senate passes bill moving local elections to November
07:18 p.m., May 13, 2015 Updated 10:38 p.m.
City and school board elections in Kansas would be held in November of odd-numbered years under a bill passed Wednesday in the Kansas Senate. Supporters say it will increase turnout in those elections, but others argue that it will create problems, especially for school boards. By Peter Hancock
Kansas lawmakers nearing new deal with Uber
06:19 p.m., May 13, 2015 Updated 10:36 p.m.
Uber suspended operations in Kansas after lawmakers passed a bill, over Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto, imposing regulations on the Internet-based ride sharing service. But key lawmakers say negotiations have continued and they hope to reach a deal that is acceptable to both sides. By Peter Hancock
Kansas abortion foes seek change in law to help with lawsuit
01:34 p.m., May 13, 2015 Updated 10:38 p.m.
Abortion opponents are urging Kansas legislators to rewrite part of a 2011 law that imposed special health and safety regulations on abortion providers, telling state senators Wednesday that the move would eliminate an issue in a lawsuit keeping the rules from being enforced.
Kansas Senate panel approves bill to revive KCK racing park
11:59 a.m., May 13, 2015 Updated 10:17 p.m.
A Kansas Senate committee has approved a bill aimed at reviving a dog and horse racing complex in Kansas City, Kansas, with slot machines.
Proposal to raise sales tax clears Kansas House panel
10:53 a.m., May 13, 2015 Updated 10:36 p.m.
A proposal to address the state budget shortfall by raising the sales tax and eliminating some income tax deductions cleared a Kansas House panel Wednesday, but some lawmakers said it wouldn’t leave enough money for contingencies.
Kansas officials urge schools to teach financial literacy
09:36 a.m., May 13, 2015 Updated 10:40 p.m.
The chairmen of the Kansas House Education Committee and the State Board of Education are urging local school districts to teach financial literacy.
Renewable energy bill more about ideology than environment
06:30 p.m., May 12, 2015 Updated 10:19 p.m.
The Kansas House and Senate could start taking acting as early as Wednesday to repeal a 2005 law that requires electric utilities to produce at least 20 percent of their power from renewable resources such as wind by 2020. But neither the electric industry nor their customers asked for the bill. Instead, it came from outside groups who said the “renewable portfolio standard” interfered with free-market economics. By Peter Hancock
Brownback won’t say on vetoing repeal of tax break
May 12, 2015
Gov. Sam Brownback is not saying whether he would veto a revenue-raising plan from legislators if it repeals a tax break he’s championed for business owners and farmers.
Kansas lawmakers gravitate toward raising state’s sales tax
10:20 a.m., May 12, 2015 Updated 10:18 p.m.
Republicans who control the Kansas Legislature gravitated Tuesday toward proposals that would increase the state‚Äôs sales tax to help eliminate a projected budget deficit but also considered lowering the tax on food.
Widespread rains boost Kansas crops
May 12, 2015
Widespread rains helped boost farm crops and replenish soil moisture across Kansas.
Time running out for Uber compromise, Kansas senator says
04:14 p.m., May 11, 2015 Updated 10:21 p.m.
A Kansas state senator says time is running out for ride-hailing company Uber to come to a compromise with the Legislature over regulations.
Kansas House panel considers tweaks to pension rules
02:40 p.m., May 11, 2015 Updated 10:22 p.m.
A Kansas House panel is considering limiting how much government employees would be able to boost their pension benefits by accumulating unused vacation days.
Kansas lawmakers must finish this week to avoid overtime
May 11, 2015
Kansas legislators must wrap up their business for the year within a week to avoid having their annual 90-day session go into overtime.