Statehouse Live

Brownback tells bankers he's staying the course

Peter Hancock

Despite the state's looming budget crisis, Gov. Sam Brownback gave an upbeat speech to the Kansas Bankers Association, saying the state is poised for economic growth, and vowing to continue on his course to eliminate state income taxes. Speaking for about 20 minutes in a second-floor hallway at the Capitol, ...

Kansas House won't open private emails used for public purpose

Peter Hancock

The Kansas House rejected an amendment Monday that would have opened up the private emails of public officials if those emails are used to conduct public business. Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, offered that amendment to a bill dealing with the Kansas Open Records Act. He said it was a response ...

Education groups reach agreement on collective bargaining changes

Peter Hancock

Four groups representing school boards, administrators, superintendents and teachers reached agreement this week on changes they could all accept to a state law governing collective bargaining rights for teachers. That agreement could make it more difficult for lawmakers to impose even more restrictions, as some conservatives have suggested. The [Professional ...

Gov. Docking opposed Statehouse chapel in 1960

Peter Hancock

Controversy over setting up an interfaith, non-denominational "prayer and meditation" room in the statehouse is apparently nothing new. In response to [an article posted on this site Tuesday][1], Sen. Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, stopped by the office with a clipping from one of the Journal-World's "Old Home Town" columns from several ...

Lawmakers want to make Statehouse chapel permanent

Peter Hancock

Several Kansas lawmakers are pushing a bill this year that would make a prayer and meditation room in the Statehouse a permanent fixture. The House Federal and State Affairs Committee held a hearing Tuesday on [H.B. 2075, establishing the "capitol meditation room][1]." The room is located on the second floor ...

State party conventions look ahead to 2016

Peter Hancock

Fresh off of their "clean sweep" victories in the 2014 elections, Kansas Republicans will gather in Topeka this weekend to elect their party leadership and start strategizing for 2016. Democrats, on the other hand, have a lot more work and soul-searching ahead of them before their state convention in March. ...

Brownback defends education funding

Peter Hancock

Gov. Sam Brownback on Wednesday defended his proposal to do away with the state school finance formula, saying it's one of the reasons the state is facing a large revenue shortfall this year. He also subtly laid part of the blame on the Kansas State Department of Education for giving ...

Brownback's K-12 cuts larger than first thought

Peter Hancock

The cuts that Gov. Sam Brownback is proposing in school district operating funds would total $127.4 million next year, according to a new analysis by the Kansas State Department of Education, much larger than the $107 million first estimated when the administration outlined its budget plan last week. But the ...

Report: Kansas has ninth most regressive tax code

Peter Hancock

Lower-income people in Kansas are taxed at more than twice the rate as upper-income people, according to a new report released Wednesday. The [fifth edition of the "Who Pays?" study][1] from two think tanks, the [Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy][2] (ITEP) and the [Kansas Center for Economic Growth][3], says ...

Effort to replace OSHA in Kansas unlikely to advance, chairwoman says

Peter Hancock

The idea of having the state of Kansas take over administration of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act is unlikely to gain traction this year, largely because of the cost and the state's current budget crisis, the chairwoman of the Senate Commerce Committee said Tuesday. "Because of the other ...

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