Peter Hancock (Statehouse/politics reporter)
I cover K-12 education. That includes Lawrence USD 497 as well as state policy issues from the legislature and State Board of Education. I am a graduate of the Kansas University with bachelor's degrees in political science and education. Before joining the Journal-World, I published an online news service called the Kansas Education Policy Report. I also spent nine years as the statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio and worked a couple of years as the spokesman for the (former) Kansas Health Policy Authority. You can follow me on Twitter (@pqhancock) or join our conversation about public schools on the First Bell blog.
- Kansas governor plans $63M in budget changes
- 04:13 p.m., July 30, 2015 Updated 06:10 p.m.
- Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration unveiled nearly $63 million in general fund spending cuts and other savings, but said those budget changes should not have a direct effect on state services. By Peter Hancock
- GOP legislators block audit of Kansas foster care system, despite recent child deaths
- 11:50 a.m., July 29, 2015 Updated 03:57 p.m.
- On a party-line vote, the Kansas Legislative Post Audit Committee on Wednesday declined to order an audit of the Kansas foster care system, despite the recent deaths of children who were either in state custody or in troubled homes.
- City approves 1,000-foot water slide event north of Sixth Street
- July 28, 2015
- City commissioners agreed Tuesday night to allow a local company to host The Urban Slide, a two-day water slide event on George Williams Way, but they insisted it be moved to the north side of Sixth Street where it will be less likely to cause traffic congestion and other problems.
- Lawrence leaders to hear citizen survey results
- July 27, 2015
- A recent survey of Lawrence residents shows strong support for investing in streets and other public infrastructure, as well as public safety facilities. But it shows considerably less support for spending public money on arts and culture, parks and recreation facilities or “economic impact” initiatives. By Peter Hancock
- Lawrence resident stepping down as chief judge of 10th Circuit Court of Appeals
- July 27, 2015
- Lawrence resident Mary Beck Briscoe announced Monday that she will step down as chief judge of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, effective Sept. 30.
- Kansas GOP sets caucus date, gears up for 2016
- July 25, 2015
- At its midyear convention in Manhattan, the Republican State Committee adopted rules for presidential caucuses on March 6. But there was also plenty of talk about state legislative races, and rumors about who will or won’t run for governor in 2018. By Peter Hancock
- Brownback calls for better National Guard security, defends Kansas teacher pay with fuzzy math
- 05:57 p.m., July 24, 2015 Updated 07:13 p.m.
- Gov. Sam Brownback on Friday said he’s concerned about the security of Kansas National Guard facilities in the wake of a mass shooting last week at a Naval Reserve base in Chattanooga, Tenn. But he was not willing to discuss a review of the state’s permissive gun policy in the wake of other recent mass shootings in which civilians were killed. By Peter Hancock
- Court rules for gay couples in Kansas tax case
- July 24, 2015
- A Shawnee County District Court judge said Friday that the Department of Revenue’s former policy of not allowing same-sex married couples to file joint tax returns was unconstitutional. The department had argued that the issue is moot, since that policy was rescinded last month after the U.S. Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal nationwide. But Judge Frank Theis said the federal ruling means the state’s policy was always unconstitutional, and the two couples involved in the case must be allowed to file amended tax returns going back three years. By Peter Hancock
- Kansas faith-based summits focus on combating family, neighborhood poverty
- July 23, 2015
- About 40 people gathered Thursday in a conference room at the Salina Area Technical College to hear Robert Woodson Sr. — a prominent conservative voice on the subject of welfare reform — talk about creative methods local leaders can use to combat poverty and crime in their neighborhoods. By Peter Hancock