Statehouse Live

Kansas GOP sees caucuses as money-maker

Peter Hancock

There are currently 16 declared candidates for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, and Kansas GOP officials are sincerely wishing every last one of them the best of luck in the early primaries and caucuses. That's because the more of them that stay in the race through Kansas' March 5 ...

Brownback names new administration secretary; expands role of budget director

Peter Hancock

Gov. Sam Brownback on Friday named Sarah Shipman as his new secretary of administration, succeeding Jim Clark who retired earlier this month. At the same time, he also expanded Budget Director Shawn Sullivan's role to include "identifying and implementing efficiencies across state government. Effective immediately, Sullivan’s title will be director ...

Nothing compares to a neighborhood cell tower fight

Peter Hancock

Having gotten a decent night's sleep after Tuesday's lengthy City Commission meeting, I now have to admit it's been kind of a treat the last couple of weeks pinch-hitting on the City Hall beat for our colleague (and now new boss) Chad Lawhorn. Admittedly, though, that wasn't exactly what I ...

Local governments worry whether 'Laffer Curve' applies to sales taxes too

Peter Hancock

It was an interesting experience Tuesday night covering the Lawrence City Commission, seeing firsthand how the politics and policies of state and local government intersect. The big news in local government this time of year is putting together their budgets for the upcoming year. And much of what they're confronted ...

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 ...

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