Statehouse Live

Budget bill goes to governor

Peter Hancock

The secretary of the Kansas Senate on Monday officially delivered [the final budget bill][1] to Gov. Sam Brownback, thus starting the 10-day clock for the governor to sign the bill and make any line-item vetoes of provisions he doesn't like. The 10-day clock expires on Thursday, May 19. Most observers ...

Why state lawmakers wait until the last minute to pass laws — hint: It's politics

Peter Hancock

There was a lot of hall chatter, and more than a few tweets, during the Kansas Legislature's wrap-up session that the House had voted on more than twice as many bills in those final five days as it had in the whole 68-day regular session. I don't know if that's ...

Senate Vice President Jeff King won't seek re-election, citing disillusionment

Peter Hancock

TOPEKA — Kansas Senate Vice President Jeff King, R-Independence, announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election this year, saying in part that he has become disillusioned with statehouse politics. "The recent veto session shows the harm of putting politics over good government," King said in a statement. "Last Friday, ...

Bison herds, BB guns and other laws considered in the final days of the wrap-up session

Peter Hancock

Kansas lawmakers met late into the night both Friday and Saturday last week, then topped it off with a marathon session that began early Sunday afternoon and lasted until 3:30 a.m. Monday. And while the budget bill was the focus of most of the media attention, the fact of the ...

Francisco, Wilson file for re-election; several retirements coming

Peter Hancock

TOPEKA — State Sen. Marci Francisco and Rep. John Wilson, both Democrats from Lawrence, have both filed re-election. Francisco filed Monday, shortly after the 2016 Legislature adjourned, to seek a third term representing the 2nd Senate District, which includes nearly all of Lawrence north of 23rd Street, portions of northern ...

Sebelius headlines Kansas Democrats fundraiser; Ballard chosen as one of final 11 delegates to DNC

Peter Hancock

Former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius was back in Topeka over the weekend to help raise money for the Kansas Democratic Party, and she quickly showed she can still draw a crowd and fire up the party’s base. Speaking to about 100 party officers, donors and elected officials, Sebelius said Kansas Democrats ...

Keep an eye out for dealmaking as Kansas parties pick delegates in presidential race

Peter Hancock

The Democratic and Republican parties in Kansas are getting ready to make their final delegate selections, and if you've been paying close attention to the presidential races, you already know this could be more contentious than usual. Both parties have already named a certain number of their delegates, in proportion ...

5 things to watch for when Legislature reconvenes this week

Peter Hancock

Kansas lawmakers return to the Statehouse on Wednesday to wrap up the 2016 legislative session, and GOP leaders are hoping to keep it short, within the "traditional" three to seven days. There's a built-in incentive to keep it short this year. Under Kansas law, incumbent legislators are prohibited from accepting ...

Latest Kansas highway cuts won't hit Douglas County

Peter Hancock

Douglas County and the surrounding area are being spared from any of the project delays that were announced this week by the Kansas Department of Transportation. Those projects — 25 in all, totaling nearly $553 million — are being put on the back burner for now as part of Gov. ...

Conflicting rulings make Westar bills hard for consumers to understand

Peter Hancock

If you're a customer of Westar Energy, you might be understandably confused about what's about to happen to your electric bill. Is it going up or down? The answer is, it's hard to say right now. The confusion stems from decisions last week by two different regulatory agencies — one ...

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