Statehouse Live

Marijuana bill set for more discussion; bill to allow pellet guns at schools on tap; big ticket issues at Statehouse slow to get moving

Peter Hancock

A few hot-button issues will come to the forefront as Kansas lawmakers head into Week 3 of the 2016 session. First up will be a bill to reform marijuana laws. The Senate Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee is set to take final action on a bill that would lower the ...

Video: Near-empty chambers on 'pro forma' days, but lawmakers still get paid

Peter Hancock

The chambers of the Kansas House and Senate were nearly empty Friday, with only a handful of legislators showing up for what are called "pro forma" sessions. Those are sessions that don't require a quorum to be present, and the only action besides gaveling in and gaveling out is to ...

Marijuana bill gets hearing; K-12 education, KanCare, state hospitals also in focus for Week 2

Peter Hancock

It's probably a safe bet that Kansas won't join Colorado and Washington state in legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, at least not anytime soon. But a Senate committee will consider a bill this week that would reduce the penalties for first and second time possession. And it would take ...

Kansas Democrats divided over 2016 legislative strategy

Peter Hancock

http://www2.ljworld.com/users/photos/2016/jan/15/301894/ A rift was exposed this week within the ranks of the House and Senate Democratic caucuses after a news conference Thursday in which their respective leaders laid out a list of "core values" they plan to fight for this year, but virtually no specific proposals to go along with ...

Lawmaker accused of racist Facebook post, later apologizes

Peter Hancock

A Kansas lawmaker’s Facebook post depicting a derogatory cartoon image of President Barack Obama and poking fun at Mexican accents ignited a storm of controversy Thursday. The post (see below) by Rep. John Bradford, R-Lansing, has since been removed from his Facebook page, but not before it prompted a flurry ...

No TV broadcast for State of the State this year

Peter Hancock

For the first time in many years, the Kansas governor's State of the State address won't be broadcast live on television. At least that's how things stand now. Dave McClintock, interim CEO of KPTS-TV, the public television station in Wichita, said the station was unable to raise the money to ...

Helgerson returning to Kansas House

Peter Hancock

Henry Helgerson, a Wichita Democrat who served in the Kansas House from 1983 through 2000, will return to the chamber for the 2016 session. Helgerson was elected by Democratic precinct committee members Tuesday night to replace Rep. Carolyn Bridges in the 83rd District. Only six precinct committee slots are filled ...

Christie files in Kansas; Campbell running for House seat; Brunk resigns from Legislature

Peter Hancock

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie this week became the seventh Republican candidate to file for the Kansas Republican caucuses, which will take place March 5. Christie filed Wednesday, the day after the latest Republican presidential debate was broadcast on CNN. "The 13 Republican candidates, including Governor Christie, showcased at Tuesday's ...

ACLU expects 'religious freedom' bills in statehouses next year

Peter Hancock

The American Civil Liberties Union said Wednesday it expects a plethora of so-called "religious freedom" bills to be introduced in state legislatures nationwide next year, including bills that would allow faith-based and other nonprofit agencies to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples in the placement of foster children. "Now mind ...

Clinton becomes first Democrat to file for Kansas caucuses

Peter Hancock

Hillary Clinton pledged to run a "ground up, grassroots campaign" in Kansas Thursday as she became the first Democratic candidate to file in the state's March 5 caucuses. “Our campaign in Kansas is being built from the ground up, driven by a grassroots coalition that’s excited about Hillary Clinton’s proven ...

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