Statehouse Live

Clock ticking and money running out as lawmakers break for four-day weekend

Peter Hancock

Kansas lawmakers left the Statehouse Thursday for a four-day Memorial Day weekend with a lot of work still waiting to be done — and with money to keep the legislative session going quickly running out. Lawmakers had budgeted for a 100-day session this year, and Thursday marked the 101st day. ...

House plans school finance debate, possible new tax plan, on Day 100

Peter Hancock

The Kansas House plans to debate both a new tax bill and the long-awaited new school finance plan on Wednesday as the 2017 legislative session goes into its 100th day. House and Senate tax negotiators agreed around 8 p.m. Tuesday to put yet another tax package up for a vote. ...

Lawmakers adjourn for weekend despite earlier vows to keep working

Peter Hancock

The Kansas House and Senate adjourned Friday despite earlier vows that they planned to work seven days a week through the end of the session. That decision came after a week in which lawmakers made virtually no progress toward passing a budget, a school finance plan or a tax package ...

WSU economists forecast flat job growth in Kansas in 2017; state-led recession 'potentially around the corner'

Peter Hancock

Economists at Wichita State University released a [new economic forecast for Kansas][1] on Wednesday, saying they expect employment to grow only half a percent in 2017. "Unlike the U.S. economy, the Kansas economy may have reached its peak,” said Jeremy Hill, director of WSU's Center for Economic Development and Business ...

Senate finishes work for the week; Kansans for Life official to be deputy state treasurer

Peter Hancock

Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning said Thursday that there would be no more business on the floor of the Senate this week, but that starting Monday the Senate would work seven days a week through the end of the session. The Senate will hold a "pro forma" session Friday so ...

Watching paint dry at the Legislature

Peter Hancock

Tuesday marked the 85th day of the 2017 legislative session, and it was yet another day when virtually no progress was made toward solving the state's looming budget crisis or answering the Kansas Supreme Court's order to improve public school funding. Although a House committee working on a school funding ...

Tax committees go back to the drawing board; new numbers show depths of budget crisis

Peter Hancock

Kansas lawmakers made little progress Thursday toward resolving a stalemate over tax policy, but the House tax committee got a look at some new numbers that illustrate the depths of the state's impending budget crisis. In short, the committee was told, they will need to raise about $1.5 billion in ...

Executive director of Kansas Democratic Party stepping down

Peter Hancock

Kerry Gooch announced Tuesday night that he will soon step down as executive director of the Kansas Democratic Party. Gooch first started working for the party four years ago at age 22. He became executive director in 2015 after what had been, for Democrats, a disappointing election cycle the year ...

School funding plan may not get to full House before next week

Peter Hancock

Kansas lawmakers may have to wait at least several more days before they get a chance to debate and vote on a proposed new formula for funding public schools. That's one of the Legislature's "must-do" tasks this year because the [Kansas Supreme Court has said][1] the block grant formula that ...

First day back: New tax plan with old provisions moves forward; appointed senator takes seat

Peter Hancock

The Kansas Senate could vote as early as Tuesday on a new, revised tax package that is changed only slightly from the one Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed earlier in the session. House and Senate negotiators met late in the afternoon on their first day back in session following a three-week ...

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