Statehouse Live

Kobach endorses Trump; Treasurer Ron Estes backs Rubio

Peter Hancock

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach on Monday announced his endorsement of New York billionaire Donald Trump for president, while State Treasurer Ron Estes fell in line with most other elected GOP officials endorsing Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Kobach became the first major elected state official to endorse Trump, but ...

Group to protest start time of KU game; Democrats target GOP House seats

Peter Hancock

A few people laughed last week when I wrote that [the timing of the KU vs. Iowa State men's basketball game][1] could affect Democratic caucus turnout on March 5, but it's not a joke anymore. Now it's turning into a protest. A group called ["KU Game Change for the Caucus" ...

Lawmakers to work 49 bills in two days; KU basketball could affect caucus turnout

Peter Hancock

Newspapers and other media outlets in Kansas should brace themselves for the criticism we'll take six or eight months from now when people realize some new law has taken effect, and we probably didn't give it full coverage when it was being debated. So allow me to offer this preemptive ...

School finance becoming a tax issue; presidential campaigns in Kansas; upcoming GOP convention

Peter Hancock

In the initial aftermath of last week's Kansas Supreme Court decision striking down the Legislature's "block grant" system of funding public schools, Republicans in the Legislature quickly tried to frame the issue around separation of powers: another example, they said, of an "activist" court overstepping its bounds by second-guessing the ...

Kansas senator removed as committee chair over Obamacare ploy

Peter Hancock

Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, announced late Friday that she has removed Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, as chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The move came after Pilcher-Cook used an unusual parliamentary maneuver on the floor of the Senate to attach a Medicaid expansion amendment onto ...

Borrowing issues may complicate budget talks

Peter Hancock

Leaders in the Kansas House and Senate are hoping for early passage of two major budget bills this week that could pave the way to an early end to the session. But a host of issues involving state agency borrowing, and particularly Kansas University's $350 million Central District project, threaten ...

Marijuana bill to conference committee; school accounting bill dies; bill raising auto insurance minimums advances

Peter Hancock

The Kansas House apparently has a lot of questions about what the Senate did to the House's [marijuana bill][1] and voted Friday to request a conference committee. The original bill, which passed the House last year, would lower the penalties for first- and second-time charges of marijuana possession. That was ...

Holland introduces government reform bills

Peter Hancock

State Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, is proposing a bill that would, for the first time in Kansas, require contract lobbyists to disclose how much they charge their clients who hire them to lobby. That was one of five government reform bills that Holland introduced Tuesday in the Senate Federal ...

Budget, school consolidation, juvenile justice ahead for Kansas lawmakers

Peter Hancock

After three relatively quiet weeks to start off the session, Kansas lawmakers will start getting down to serious business on Monday with mid-year budget cuts, school funding changes and a massive overhaul of the state's juvenile justice system leading the agenda. First up is Gov. Sam Brownback's plan for closing ...

Constitutional amendment to protect hunting, fishing and trapping rights could have far-reaching consequences

Peter Hancock

A proposed constitutional amendment is pending in the Kansas House that would guarantee the public's right to engage in hunting, fishing and trapping. It's a proposal that, at first blush, seems like a natural fit for a state like Kansas, where such outdoor activities are so ingrained in the culture ...

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