Statehouse Live

Democrats trying to force gun debate in Kansas House

Peter Hancock

Democrats in the Kansas House are using a procedural move that could force a debate Tuesday on proposals to exempt public hospitals, mental health facilities and college campuses from having to allow people to carry concealed weapons in those places starting July 1. House Democratic Leader Jim Ward invoked a ...

Most of Kansas congressional delegation supported repealing internet privacy rules

Peter Hancock

Both U.S. senators from Kansas and two of its three House members voted over the past week in favor of repealing the Federal Communications Commission’s new internet privacy rules. Those regulations, adopted near the end of President Barack Obama’s administration, would have required internet service providers, or ISPs, to get ...

Kansas House advances resolution condemning pornography as 'public health hazard'

Peter Hancock

The Kansas House advanced a nonbinding resolution Wednesday that declares pornography a "public health hazard." [House Resolution 6016][1] has the strong backing of two conservative Christian organizations, [American Family Action of Kansas and Missouri][2], and [Family Policy Alliance of Kansas][3]. Lobbyists from both organizations testified in favor of the resolution ...

State water plan funding hits roadblock in Kansas House

Peter Hancock

Hopes of getting more funding in future years to protect the state's endangered water resources were dealt a severe setback Tuesday when the House budget committee rejected a proposal to spend even the amount the state is already legally obligated to spend for water projects. Increasing funding for water preservation ...

Budget talks continue; hemp bill advances; property values up

Peter Hancock

House and Senate budget negotiators failed to reach agreement Monday on a bill aimed at filling a $281 million funding shortfall in the current fiscal year's budget, something both chambers need before they can get to work on the next two-year "mega" budget bill. The sole remaining issue separating the ...

Bill would target wild blackberries as noxious weeds

Peter Hancock

People who enjoy going out into the country and picking wild berries to make juices, jams and jellies may find it harder in the future to gather one particular berry, if a bill making its way through the Legislature becomes law. On the other hand, ranchers in some parts of ...

Taxes, budget, abortion and hemp on this week's legislative agenda

Peter Hancock

Kansas lawmakers made almost no progress last week toward balancing the state's current budget or coming up with a plan to fund the next one, but that could change this week when one Senate committee takes up Gov. Sam Brownback's "rescission" bill, and another makes a stab at a tax ...

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 ...

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