Statehouse Live

Schmidt joins suit against EPA clean water rule

Peter Hancock

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt joined eight other states in filing a federal lawsuit Tuesday that seeks to block the Environmental Protection Agency from extending clean water regulations into small ponds and tributaries. “Congress never intended for the federal government to regulate ditches or farm ponds,” Schmidt said in a ...

Kansas attorney general's blanket response to string of recent losses in court

Peter Hancock

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has been eagerly sought by reporters this week for comments on major court cases in which he came out on the losing end. But those requests generally went unanswered, until late Friday afternoon. “We are reviewing the past two days’ opinions internally and with our ...

Obamacare subsidies upheld by U.S. Supreme Court

Peter Hancock

People in Kansas and other states that do not operate their own health insurance market exchanges can continue to receive federal subsidies to buy policies on the federal exchange, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday. In [a 6-3 decision][1], the court rejected a challenge by plaintiffs who argued that, as ...

All eyes now on Kansas Senate

Peter Hancock

The Kansas Senate is expected to take up a tax bill Friday which, if it passes, could bring the 2015 legislative session to a close on its record-setting 113th day. But the bill falls far short of actually balancing the state budget, analysts say. The House, after working through the ...

Brownback urges GOP to reach consensus; sets Monday deadline

Peter Hancock

http://www2.ljworld.com/users/photos/2015/jun/11/292838/ Republican Gov. Sam Brownback made an impassioned plea Thursday for House and Senate Republicans to reach agreement on a plan to balance the budget before his administration will be forced to take drastic actions. Those range from vetoing the budget bill lawmakers have already passed, which would force at ...

Lawmakers, frustrated by failure of tax bill, mulling what to do next

Peter Hancock

Several key Kansas lawmakers were clearly frustrated Thursday morning after the House defeated [a $403 million tax bill][1] to balance the budget, and some said openly they don't know what to do next. Among them was Rep. Mark Hutton, R-Wichita, who was among a minority of House members voting for ...

House offers 'trailer' bill; process may be dicey

Peter Hancock

Republican leaders in the Kansas House offered their "trailer bill" proposal Wednesday afternoon that could pave the way for lawmakers to end the 2015 session. But the process of getting both bills through the House, and then getting the trailer bill through the Senate, could be difficult. House Taxation Committee ...

Brownback urges passage of tax bill and trailer bill

Peter Hancock

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is urging the Kansas House to pass the Senate's tax bill, along with any "trailer" bill that's needed to clean up provisions that many House members find objectionable. "At this point in time, they just need to get something done, get it across the line, work ...

House wants tax lid, other policies out of mega bill

Peter Hancock

Republican leaders in the Kansas House are trying to devise a way to pass the Senate's tax plan, but follow it up with a so-called "trailer" bill that would remove a number of tax policies that many House members find objectionable. If successful, that could pave the way for closing ...

Talk of letting governor make budget cuts grows stronger

Peter Hancock

Republican leaders in the Kansas Senate are growing increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress on a tax bill to balance the state's budget, and talk about letting Republican Gov. Sam Brownback do it himself through "allotment" cuts is growing stronger. The Associated Press reported Monday night that Brownback's budget ...

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