Statehouse Live

Organized labor calls current Legislature one of the worst

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — Labor officials are not happy with the Kansas Legislature. Citing a recent report that lists Kansas as one of the nation's 10 most deadly states in workplace safety, labor officials said Wednesday the 2013 Legislature will be remembered as one of the most anti-worker legislatures ever. "Far too ...

Former Senate president mentioned as challenger to Brownback says he's not running

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — A possible election challenge to Gov. Sam Brownback by former Senate President Steve Morris has been batted around the Twitterverse recently. Contacted by phone, Morris, a Republican from Hugoton, said he has no plans to run for governor in 2014, but he added, "In this business, you never ...

Leaders plan talks as legislative session grinds on

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — The legislative wrap-up session entered its second week and the major items have yet to be wrapped up. Gov. Sam Brownback, Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, and House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, planned to meet Monday to discuss taxes, but for rest of the Legislature there's not much ...

Concerns of those who care for Kansans with developmental disabilities rise as session reconvenes

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — As legislators return Wednesday for the wrap-up session, concerns are rising for those who care for Kansans with developmental disabilities. Two issues are in play. One is increased funding proposed by Gov. Sam Brownback to reduce the number of Kansans on waiting lists to get the support they ...

Tax cuts will reduce state revenue more than Great Recession

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — State tax revenue is expected to decline more over the next fiscal year than it decreased during the three years of the Great Recession, according to new state fiscal estimates. New revenue figures show that the state will receive $5.454 billion in tax revenue for the fiscal year ...

Kobach testifies against immigration bill before U.S. Senate committee

Scott Rothschild

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was in Washington, D.C., yesterday testifying against an immigration bill before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Kobach cited the recent Boston Marathon bombing as one of several reasons he opposed the proposed legislation, saying that the bill provided insufficient background checks to prevent terrorists ...

Big revenue decrease projected for fiscal year starting July 1

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — Last week's revenue projections by state fiscal officials showed little change in Kansas' revenue forecast. But budgetary storm clouds are right over the horizon. The new numbers highlighted that next year state revenue will drop precipitously as the income tax cuts signed into law last year by Gov. ...

Brownback says higher sales tax needed in case state loses school finance lawsuit

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — Gov. Sam Brownback continues to try to build his case for making the 6.3 percent state sales tax permanent, instead of letting it fall to 5.7 percent. On Friday, Brownback said the state may need revenue from the higher levy in case of a ruling against the state ...

The fight over sales tax has consumed Kansas politics for three years

Scott Rothschild

It's amazing how much of the political fighting in Kansas is wrapped up in one penny that most Kansans pay every day without a fuss. Of course, the penny adds up to approximately $300 million a year, and is key to state budget and tax policy. During the Great ...

Roberts, Moran vote against expanded background checks in gun sales

Scott Rothschild

U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, both Kansas Republicans, voted against gun legislation that would have expanded background checks and other restrictions. The measure, put together by U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania and Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, was in response to the Newtown, ...

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