Statehouse Live

Brownback: 'No reason' St. Francis hospital should close

Peter Hancock

Saying there is at least one, and possibly more companies negotiating to buy the troubled St. Francis Health Center in Topeka, Gov. Sam Brownback said Wednesday there is "no reason" that hospital should close later this year. "We now have a buyer — at least one, we think there may ...

Many wrote off special 4th District race, but they shouldn't have

Peter Hancock

In the wake of a surprisingly close special election on Tuesday, state and national Democrats have to be asking themselves one question: Who lost the 4th District? The more important question, though, ought to be what, if anything, does the race between Republican State Treasurer Ron Estes and first-time Democratic ...

Hemp, marijuana bills remain alive in Legislature

Peter Hancock

With the Kansas Legislature out for a three-week break, now is a good time to catch people up on the status of issues that tend to get drowned out by the din surrounding bigger issues like school finance, taxes, Medicaid expansion and the state budget. One of the issues that ...

Democrats trying to force gun debate in Kansas House

Peter Hancock

Democrats in the Kansas House are using a procedural move that could force a debate Tuesday on proposals to exempt public hospitals, mental health facilities and college campuses from having to allow people to carry concealed weapons in those places starting July 1. House Democratic Leader Jim Ward invoked a ...

Most of Kansas congressional delegation supported repealing internet privacy rules

Peter Hancock

Both U.S. senators from Kansas and two of its three House members voted over the past week in favor of repealing the Federal Communications Commission’s new internet privacy rules. Those regulations, adopted near the end of President Barack Obama’s administration, would have required internet service providers, or ISPs, to get ...

Kansas House advances resolution condemning pornography as 'public health hazard'

Peter Hancock

The Kansas House advanced a nonbinding resolution Wednesday that declares pornography a "public health hazard." [House Resolution 6016][1] has the strong backing of two conservative Christian organizations, [American Family Action of Kansas and Missouri][2], and [Family Policy Alliance of Kansas][3]. Lobbyists from both organizations testified in favor of the resolution ...

State water plan funding hits roadblock in Kansas House

Peter Hancock

Hopes of getting more funding in future years to protect the state's endangered water resources were dealt a severe setback Tuesday when the House budget committee rejected a proposal to spend even the amount the state is already legally obligated to spend for water projects. Increasing funding for water preservation ...

Budget talks continue; hemp bill advances; property values up

Peter Hancock

House and Senate budget negotiators failed to reach agreement Monday on a bill aimed at filling a $281 million funding shortfall in the current fiscal year's budget, something both chambers need before they can get to work on the next two-year "mega" budget bill. The sole remaining issue separating the ...

Bill would target wild blackberries as noxious weeds

Peter Hancock

People who enjoy going out into the country and picking wild berries to make juices, jams and jellies may find it harder in the future to gather one particular berry, if a bill making its way through the Legislature becomes law. On the other hand, ranchers in some parts of ...

Taxes, budget, abortion and hemp on this week's legislative agenda

Peter Hancock

Kansas lawmakers made almost no progress last week toward balancing the state's current budget or coming up with a plan to fund the next one, but that could change this week when one Senate committee takes up Gov. Sam Brownback's "rescission" bill, and another makes a stab at a tax ...

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