Statehouse Live

Kansas Senate president demotes GOP senator for endorsing Democrats

TOPEKA — Republican Senate President Susan Wagle on Wednesday stripped fellow GOP Sen. Barbara Bollier, R-Mission Hills, from her leadership position on a key committee after Bollier endorsed two Democrats in the upcoming elections. Wagle, of Wichita, issued a statement Wednesday calling ...

How the abortion issue threatens to divide Democrats

TOPEKA — Although abortion has been a lightning-rod issue that has been dividing the Kansas Republican Party for decades, in the 2018 primaries, it’s an issue that threatens to divide Kansas Democrats, as well. In the primary race for governor, state Sen. Laura Kelly has been blasting one ...

Gannon decision puts internet sales tax, sports gambling back on the table

Monday's decision from the Kansas Supreme Court on school finance may be just what it takes to put two seemingly unrelated issues back on the table at the Kansas Legislature: taxing internet sales and sports gambling. To refresh, the court ruled Monday in the long-running case Gannon v. Kansas ...

Barnett questions fundraisers for Colyer; one to be held at home of Regents chairman

Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer on Wednesday declared himself the "front-runner" in the race for the GOP nomination, saying he is leading in the polls and that he has raised more money than any other candidate in the race. His claim about leading in the polls might be arguable by some. [One poll, ...

Why Jim Ward’s exit from Kansas governor’s race could help Democrats in 2018

House Minority Leader Jim Ward’s exit from the 2018 race for governor in Kansas came as a surprise to some observers, but not much of a surprise to those who were paying close attention to fundraising numbers. Ward, a Wichita Democrat, had raised less than $100,000 at year’s end in 2017 ...

The Statehouse guessing game: Who will be the next lieutenant governor?

As Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer prepares to take over as governor at 3 p.m. Wednesday, there is one question that seems to dominate almost every conversation in the hallways of the Statehouse: Who will be the next lieutenant governor? Under [Kansas law][1], Colyer will have authority to appoint the ...

Kansas lawmakers to start pushing transparency initiatives

As the Kansas Legislature heads into the third week of the 2018 session, with little progress being made on school finance until a consultant's report comes out in mid-March, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are starting to turn their attention to issues of transparency in the ...

GOP donors not flocking to Barnett this time in Kansas governor’s race

In a story that was posted online Thursday and carried in Friday's print edition summarizing campaign finance reports in this year's governor's race, we inadvertently omitted Republican candidate Jim Barnett. According to his report, Barnett's campaign took in a total of $564,645 in 2017. Of ...

New poll shows how far Colyer is behind Kobach in one key area

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer has scheduled a news conference Monday to announce proposed budget enhancements for the Department for Children and Families. That's unusual for two reasons: First, because it is rare for anyone other than the governor's office to announce budget proposals before the ...

Brownback still optimistic about diplomatic post

Gov. Sam Brownback said Thursday that he was still optimistic that his nomination to a diplomatic post in the Trump administration would be resubmitted to the U.S. Senate and that he would eventually be confirmed, although the White House has not yet made an announcement. Asked during an ...

GOP race for governor heats up as Barnett takes aim at Kobach

Former state Sen. Jim Barnett added some heat to the race for the Republican nomination for governor this week by taking direct aim at the presumed front-runner, Secretary of State Kris Kobach. In a news release, Barnett, a physician who now lives in Topeka but used to represent a Senate ...

Resubmission of Brownback’s nomination explained

If Gov. Sam Brownback is to become the next U.S. ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom, President Donald Trump will have to resubmit his nomination to the U.S. Senate early next year, according to Senate rules. David Popp, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, ...

Report: Senate won’t confirm Brownback in 2017

The U.S. Senate will not confirm Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback for a diplomatic post in the Trump administration before the end of the year, setting up the possibility that he may still be governor when the 2018 legislative session starts on Jan. 8. The McClatchy News Service published a story ...

Laura Kelly upends Democratic race for governor

State Sen. Laura Kelly, of Topeka, jumped into Kansas' 2018 gubernatorial race late last week and immediately became the odds-on favorite to win the Democratic nomination, according to some outside observers, sending a strong message to the other three major candidates that party leaders were ...