Statehouse Live

Kansas officials call for immigration reform

Scott Rothschild

Several Kansas officials on Tuesday called on Congress to approve immigration reform. "We need a national solution and we need it soon," said Allie Devine, a former Kansas agriculture secretary. In Washington, D.C., several Republican and Democratic senators are trying to craft a bill to secure the nation's borders, improve ...

House, Senate budget negotiators remain at odds over higher education funding

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — House and Senate budget writers on Tuesday remained at an impasse over funding of higher education. The House has approved a 4 percent reduction to higher education while the Senate has proposed a 2 percent cut. In addition, the House has proposed other cuts from job vacancies, salary ...

Brownback signs into law the paycheck deductions bill that KNEA opposes

Scott Rothschild

Without comment, Gov. Sam Brownback on Monday signed into law a bill that bars public employee unions from taking voluntary deductions from members' paychecks to help finance political activities. House Bill 2022 was sought by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and conservative legislators. They argued that state and local government ...

Gay rights advocate says compromise reached on quarantine bill

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — A gay rights advocate said Thursday a compromise has been reached on a bill that could result in the quarantine of people with AIDS or HIV. House Bill 2183 would remove a current provision that exempts those with HIV or AIDS from possible quarantine. Kansas Department of Health ...

House budget negotiators stand by 4 percent cut to higher education

Scott Rothschild

**Topeka** — The House and Senate budget conference committee today started negotiations and the House stood by its proposal to cut higher education funding by 4 percent. The reduction would mean a nearly $10 million cut to Kansas University. The Senate has proposed a 2 percent cut. While the ...

Appropriations chairman alleges that head of Kansas Turnpike offered $25 million to kill merger proposal

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — House Appropriations Committee Chairman Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, said the head of the Kansas Turnpike Authority offered Gov. Sam Brownback $25 million to back off his proposal to merge the KTA with the Kansas Department of Transportation. KTA President and Chief Exeuctive Officer Michael Johnston denied the allegation. Rhoades ...

Bill introduced to abolish death penalty in Kansas

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — A bill was introduced Thursday that would abolish the death penalty in Kansas. State Rep. Steven Becker, R-Buhler, said the bill would replace capital punishment with a sentence of life without parole. The measure would also establish a fund for anticipated savings from eliminating the death penalty, and ...

Advocates for undocumented immigrants urge rejection of bills

Scott Rothschild

Advocates for undocumented immigrants on Wednesday urged the Legislature to reject a bill that would establish an Arizona-like "proof of citizenship" law. About 50 people with Wichita-based Sunflower Community Action assembled in the Statehouse to protest Senate Bill 140 and House Bill 2192. SB 140 would authorize law enforcement to ...

Even states opposed to Medicaid expansion are working on Medicaid expansion

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — In Kansas, Gov. Sam Brownback and his conservative Republican colleagues in the Legislature seem to be following the no-way, no-how lead of Texas Gov. Rick Perry on whether to expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act. But this story [link text][1] in the San Antonio Express-News shows ...

ITEP report says race to no income tax based on flawed theory

Scott Rothschild

The effort by Gov. Sam Brownback and several other Republican governors to eliminate personal state income taxes is based on an economic theory that is "extremely flawed," a new report by a non-partisan research group says. Brownback has depended on the claims of supply-side economist Arthur Laffer that states without ...

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