Statehouse Live

Brownback defends education funding

Peter Hancock

Gov. Sam Brownback on Wednesday defended his proposal to do away with the state school finance formula, saying it's one of the reasons the state is facing a large revenue shortfall this year. He also subtly laid part of the blame on the Kansas State Department of Education for giving ...

Brownback's K-12 cuts larger than first thought

Peter Hancock

The cuts that Gov. Sam Brownback is proposing in school district operating funds would total $127.4 million next year, according to a new analysis by the Kansas State Department of Education, much larger than the $107 million first estimated when the administration outlined its budget plan last week. But the ...

Report: Kansas has ninth most regressive tax code

Peter Hancock

Lower-income people in Kansas are taxed at more than twice the rate as upper-income people, according to a new report released Wednesday. The [fifth edition of the "Who Pays?" study][1] from two think tanks, the [Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy][2] (ITEP) and the [Kansas Center for Economic Growth][3], says ...

Effort to replace OSHA in Kansas unlikely to advance, chairwoman says

Peter Hancock

The idea of having the state of Kansas take over administration of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act is unlikely to gain traction this year, largely because of the cost and the state's current budget crisis, the chairwoman of the Senate Commerce Committee said Tuesday. "Because of the other ...

Supreme Court justice a no-show at inauguration

Peter Hancock

At first it looked like a typo in the official program for the inauguration. Among the list of people to be sworn in on Monday, the program listed Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss and Associate Justice Eric Rosen. But it was no typo. Nuss was there, not to ...

Kansas inauguration ceremonies moved indoors due to weather

Peter Hancock

Inauguration ceremonies scheduled for Monday will be held indoors in the Kansas House chamber due to forecasts of frigid temperatures. Organizers of the ceremonies said people wishing to attend the 11 a.m. event, which will feature the swearing-in of Gov. Sam Brownback, should enter the Statehouse through the north doors, ...

Democrat offers minimum wage hike; Nuss to give State of the Judiciary

Peter Hancock

**Minimum wage** Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, pre-filed [a bill this week to raise the Kansas minimum wage][1] to $10.25 an hour over the next three years. The current state minimum wage is the same as the federal rate, $7.25 an hour. It would also raise the base wage for waiters ...

Where will your Lawrence representative be this session?

Peter Hancock

House Democrats finalized their committee assignments over the weekend. Republicans put out their assignments last month. So if you're wondering where you're Douglas County-area representative is going to be this session, here's the list. Committees generally meet at 9 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Not all committees meet every ...

Brownback's office announces staff changes

Peter Hancock

Gov. Sam Brownback and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer announced changes in their top staff positions Monday. Landon Fulmer, the governor’s chief of staff since 2012, will step down Jan. 5 to become vice president of state affairs for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers in Washington, D.C. He will be replaced ...

School finance ruling pushed back 30-45 days

Peter Hancock

A long-awaited court decision about whether Kansas is adequately funding its public schools has been pushed back until around the first of the year. Shawnee County District Judge Frank Theis, who presides over the three-judge panel hearing the case, sent an email to attorneys in the case late Friday saying ...

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