Statehouse Live

The question about the governor: Lawmakers discuss possibility of Brownback leaving

Peter Hancock

In any given year, no matter who the governor is, one of the basic questions lawmakers have to deal with is what the governor will accept. That's just as true for big issues like budgets and taxes as it is for relatively obscure issues like funding the state water plan. ...

Lansing prison project going forward, for now

Peter Hancock

The House Appropriations Committee on Monday gave tentative approval — very tentative — to a request by the Brownback administration for permission to replace the original 1860s-era housing unit at the Lansing Correctional Facility and sign a lease-purchase contract for the construction of a new one. There is almost universal ...

A threat to close schools, a search for $1.6 billion in funding, and a host of other issues await lawmakers as they return to Topeka

Peter Hancock

TOPEKA — Kansas lawmakers return to the Statehouse Monday from a week-long break to start the second phase of the 2017 session. And thanks to a Kansas Supreme Court decision last week, school funding will immediately go to the top of the agenda. That won’t be the only issue they ...

Kansas medical marijuana bill may get committee vote after break

Peter Hancock

A bill that would legalize the use of marijuana for certain medical purposes could come up for a vote soon in a Kansas Senate committee, possibly in early March after lawmakers return from their midsession break. But the chairman of that committee isn't predicting its chances of passing. "I think ...

Light day in House lets freshman lawmakers get some stage time

Peter Hancock

The Kansas House worked through a handful of mostly noncontroversial bills Monday, giving a few freshman legislators a chance to learn some of the ropes. Whenever a bill comes out of committee, someone from that committee is assigned the task of "carrying" the bill onto the floor. That means he ...

Lawmakers head into 'turnaround week' while waiting for Brownback tax decision

Peter Hancock

Kansas lawmakers have a big question hanging over their heads as they head toward the midpoint of the session, known as "turnaround" day. The question is, what will Gov. Sam Brownback do with the $1 billion tax bill they just sent him that would reverse many of the signature tax ...

Senate lays out tax debate schedule; Democrats announce details of Bernie Sanders appearance

Peter Hancock

Republican leaders in the Kansas Senate announced their plans for debating tax bills the rest of this week, and one scenario could put the just-passed House plan on Gov. Sam Brownback's desk early next week. That, however, depends on what happens Thursday morning in the House when it votes on ...

House to move forward on taxes, spending cuts, while Senate regroups

Peter Hancock

Following a near-meltdown in the Senate last week, Republican leaders in the Kansas House plan to move forward with their own plans for balancing this year's budget and raising taxes to balance the next two years' budgets. On Thursday last week, the [Senate abruptly called off debate][1] on its own ...

Bernie Sanders to speak at Kansas Democratic Party convention Feb. 25

Peter Hancock

Kansas Democratic Party officials finally confirmed Tuesday what many people had been saying unofficially on social media for days, that former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders will be the keynote speaker at the party's upcoming state convention known as Washington Days in Topeka. Sanders is scheduled to speak sometime on ...

Civil rights panel calls for federal probe of Kansas voting laws; Kobach says review unnecessary

Peter Hancock

Kansas’ strict voting laws sometimes act like a poll tax and also disproportionately discourage young voters, a civil rights panel alleges in a draft report that seeks a federal probe into Kansas voting laws. A panel that advises the U.S. Civil Rights Commission is circulating a draft report that would ...

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