Statehouse Live

A spectator’s guide to the special legislative session

Peter Hancock

TOPEKA — Kansas lawmakers return to the Statehouse at 8 a.m. Thursday for the start of a special legislative session, the 23rd such session in state history and the second one in 11 years focusing on school funding and the Kansas Constitution. At stake is one simple question: Will public ...

No 'Dump Trump' movement for Kansas GOP

Peter Hancock

The chairman of the Kansas Republican Party said Monday that he is not taking part in recent efforts to change party rules in a way that could deny Donald Trump the presidential nomination. "At this point I’m not on board with this," Kelly Arnold, the GOP chairman, said. "We held ...

Gun debate heats up locally, nationally

Peter Hancock

The debate over gun control is heating up in at least one congressional race in Kansas at the same time that Democrats in the U.S. Senate are trying to pressure Republicans into allowing a debate on the issue in the wake of Sunday's massacre in Orlando, Fla. Democrat Jay Sidie, ...

New lawmaker to be seated in special session

Peter Hancock

One state lawmaker will get a proverbial baptism by fire next week when that person takes office on the first day of what is expected to be a highly contentious special session. Democrat Jim Gartner, of Topeka, is widely expected to be chosen in the coming days to replace Rep. ...

Poll shows Clinton leading in Kansas; broad dissatisfaction with Legislature

Peter Hancock

Kansans are overwhelmingly dissatisfied with their state government and with their choice of presidential candidates, according to a new poll released Friday. But when given a choice between the two parties’ presumptive nominees, a plurality (43-36 percent) said they prefer Democrat Hillary Clinton to Republican Donald Trump, while 21 percent ...

Court has another option besides closing schools

Peter Hancock

As Kansans wait to learn whether Gov. Sam Brownback will call a special session and whether the Legislature will respond to a Supreme Court order to fix the school funding system before July 1, most of the discussion has centered on the possibility that the court could order the shutdown ...

If the Legislature does it, does that mean it's not illegal?

Peter Hancock

Sitting in the Senate Republican caucus meeting Wednesday as elected lawmakers openly talked about defying the Kansas Supreme Court if it closes schools next month, it was hard for people of a certain age not to think back about Richard Nixon and Watergate. At the height of that scandal, a ...

Holland files for re-election; Democrat files against Pompeo

Peter Hancock

TOPEKA — Democratic Sen. Tom Holland, of Baldwin City, filed for re-election Thursday, saying he will continue to fight Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's tax policies. His filing means that all six incumbent lawmakers from Douglas County are seeking re-election this year. All but two of them, Democratic Reps. John Wilson ...

Ethics Commission questions name of Lawrence-based PAC; candidates reshuffle ballot positions

Peter Hancock

Members of the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission said Wednesday that they plan to seek more information about a new Lawrence-based political action committee whose name, they say, may not comply with a new law that says a name must give some indication of what the PAC is all about. But ...

One moderate Republican drops out of House race; another files for Senate; Highberger files for re-election

Peter Hancock

**Rep. Don Hill**, R-Emporia, surprised many people Monday when he announced he will not seek re-election to his 60th District House seat. Hill, a pharmacist who has served seven terms in the House, has been a leader among the dwindling faction of moderate Republicans who often found themselves at odds ...

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