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Statehouse Live

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 ...

Three huge cases pending before one Shawnee County judge

Peter Hancock

It's been a busy month of court watching in Kansas as cases dealing with same-sex marriage have rushed their way to both the U.S. and Kansas Supreme courts. But while waiting for final decisions on those cases, it's worth noting that three other cases of monumental importance to Kansans are ...

Lawrence man suggests 'crowdfunding' to fill Kansas budget gap

Peter Hancock

While Kansas lawmakers and Gov. Sam Brownback try to figure out how to trim $715 million out of the state budget over the next year and a half, one Lawrence resident is offering a novel idea: crowdfunding. In a tongue-in-cheek appeal, Lawrence resident Will Averill [launched a campaign Wednesday on ...

Children's advocate says `politics' killed bill that would have helped public health

Scott Rothschild

A leading state children's advocate says that a bill that would have saved children's lives and cost nothing died because of "politics." "Politics got in the way, and Kansas kids will die needlessly as a result," said Shannon Cotsoradis, president and chief executive officer of Kansas Action for Children. Key ...

Sebelius part of joke at White House Correspondents dinner

Scott Rothschild

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who was sharply criticized for problems with the rollout of Healthcare.gov, got big laughs Saturday night at the White House Correspondents Association dinner, when she came on stage as part of a joke to fix a technical glitch during President Barack Obama's speech. ...

Davis bids farewell to House chamber

Scott Rothschild

TOPEKA — House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, on Friday gave a farewell speech to the chamber he has been working in for the past 12 years. "Thank you for the friendships that I will cherish forever, for the memories that will never leave me, and the opportunity to simply ...

In new ad, group backing Brownback praises governor for school bill but doesn't mention repeal of teacher tenure

Scott Rothschild

A group backing Gov. Sam Brownback churned out a commercial praising Brownback for the new school finance bill, but the ad doesn't mention controversial parts of the bill, including a repeal of job protections for teachers. The spot sponsored by Road Map Solutions Inc., led by Brownback's longtime political adviser ...

Poll: Governor's race tight; Medicaid expansion will be an issue

Scott Rothschild

A new [poll][1] shows the race for Kansas governor remains tight. The poll showed Democrat Paul Davis of Lawrence leading Republican Gov. Sam Brownback 45 percent to 41 percent, with 14 percent unsure. The poll's margin of error was plus or minus 3.3 percentage points. It was conducted April 1-3, ...

Private health clubs get property tax exemption under Senate amendment

Scott Rothschild

Some Senate Republicans did some heavy lifting on Friday for private gyms by voting to give them a property tax exemption. State Sen. Jeff Melcher, R-Leawood, said it was unfair that for-profit private health clubs paid property taxes, while non-profit YMCAs and YWCAs were exempt from those taxes. Senate Democratic ...

Davis camp sends inadvertent email to reporters

Scott Rothschild

A spokeswoman for House Minority Leader Paul Davis, the likely Democratic candidate for governor, had an "oops" moment today. Haley Pollock inadvertently sent an email to reporters that was meant for planners of a pro-school funding press conference scheduled for Monday. In that email, Pollock advises Game On for Kansas ...

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