Statehouse Live

Kansas in the spotlight: End of state's tax experiment resonates nationally as Trump's plan mimics Brownback's failure

Peter Hancock

When Kansas lawmakers overrode Gov. Sam Brownback's veto and reversed course on the tax policies he championed in 2012, it was predictable that the story would be front-page news in all the Kansas papers. What was less predictable was the extent to which the story would resonate nationally. Much of ...

Despite resistance, lawmakers create foster care task force; Brownback signs four more bills as session nears end

Peter Hancock

The Kansas Senate sent two significant pieces of legislation to Gov. Sam Brownback's desk on Friday while Brownback signed four bills into law. Among the bills the Senate passed was one [establishing a child welfare task force][1] that would spend the next two years studying the Department for Children and ...

Impact of tax veto override will be felt for years in Kansas

Peter Hancock

Kansans woke up Wednesday morning to a state that was dramatically transformed overnight in ways that will affect them for years to come. The Kansas Legislature's decision the night before to override Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of a bill reversing his signature tax policies will have an almost immediate impact ...

Hospital gun bill in Brownback's hands; governor says he's weighing options

Peter Hancock

A bill that would exempt publicly owned health care facilities from having to allow concealed weapons arrived on Gov. Sam Brownback's desk Monday, but Brownback said he hasn't decided whether he'll sign or veto it. "We’re looking at it, listening to individuals closely and carefully," Brownback said during a brief ...

Lawmakers to work through weekend hoping to resolve 2017 session; idea of restoring teacher tenure floated

Peter Hancock

Kansas lawmakers plan to work on Saturday and possibly into next week in hopes of wrapping up the 2017 session after they inched closer on Friday to settling some of the major issues still on the table. Most of Friday was spent with conference committees meeting on various subjects, while ...

Tax vote exposes rift in the Democrat-moderate Republican coalition

Peter Hancock

When Democrats and moderate Republicans picked up a large number of seats in the 2016 elections, expectations were high that they would form a governing coalition that could check the power of the more conservative Republicans who have all but ruled in the Kansas Statehouse through most of the Brownback ...

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 ...

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