Statehouse Live

Legislative leaders authorize study panels on school finance, sales tax exemptions

Peter Hancock

Kansas legislative leaders on Wednesday authorized two more interim committees, one to begin work crafting a new school finance formula and another to examine the state's long list of sales tax exemptions. The most interesting aspect of the sales tax panel appears to be that none of the Republicans on ...

Hansen withdraws as commerce secretary nominee

Peter Hancock

George Hansen, Gov. Sam Brownback's nominee for secretary of commerce, withdrew his name from consideration Tuesday, saying an extended family member has "extensive business dealings" with the agency. A statement from Brownback's office gave no further details. "I respect George's decision and have reluctantly accepted his request to withdraw his ...

Brownback to host town hall meeting on possible Gitmo transfer

Peter Hancock

Gov. Sam Brownback announced Wednesday that he will hold a town hall meeting Thursday, Sept. 3, in Leavenworth to air concerns about a possible transfer of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Fort Leavenworth. That announcement was the third statement Brownback has made in recent days on the subject. On ...

'Women for Kansas' to organize Lawrence chapter

Peter Hancock

The relatively new political group [Women for Kansas][1] will hold organizational meetings this week to launch a chapter in Lawrence as it gears up for the 2016 elections. Deena Burnett, a former teacher in the Lawrence school district and a former president of the Lawrence Education Association, said the goal ...

Meeker resigns as Democratic Party chair

Peter Hancock

http://www2.ljworld.com/users/photos/2015/aug/21/295641/ The Kansas Democratic Party confirmed today that Larry Meeker has resigned as chairman of the party after only five months on the job. Kerry Gooch, the party's executive director, confirmed that Meeker submitted a letter of resignation Friday, just as the party's state committee is gathering in Wichita for ...

Four things to watch for at Kansas Democrats' DemoFest

Peter Hancock

The Kansas Democratic Party will gather in Wichita this weekend for its annual mid-year DemoFest convention. Usually in odd-numbered years, these conventions can be something of a yawner. But this year could be different, with the 2016 elections coming up, and internal angst growing within the party over its three ...

New poll shows most Kansans are more moderate than GOP, but can Democrats win the trust issue?

Peter Hancock

Democratic operatives in Kansas are touting new polling numbers this week that show most Kansans are more moderate than Gov. Sam Brownback and the Republican-led Legislature on issues such as taxes, school funding, environmental and economic policies. But even the people who commissioned the poll concede that Democrats have an ...

State's new sign law likely to cause legal problems, may be unconstitutional

Peter Hancock

Kansas lawmakers probably thought they were standing up for First Amendment freedoms when they passed a bill this year prohibiting cities and counties from regulating the placement of political yard signs. Or, maybe they were just acting in their own political self-interest. Either way, officials at the League of Kansas ...

Legislative panel seeking bids for $3 million efficiency study; Milton Wolf claims a moral victory

Peter Hancock

The Kansas Legislative Budget Committee agreed Monday to solicit proposals from outside firms to conduct an examination of the state's operations and make recommendations about how it can be more cost effective. Lawmakers set aside $3 million in the Legislature's own budget this year to pay for such a study. ...

Burroughs letter not seen as apology, Lawrence Democrats say

Peter Hancock

Quite a bit of fuss was made this week over a letter from House Minority Leader Tom Burroughs that some characterized as an apology over the way he handled the 2015 legislative session. But Lawrence-area Democrats said they didn't take it that way, and a spokeswoman for Burroughs said it ...

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