Statehouse Live

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 ...

Committee to vote on microbreweries; Highberger proposes changing Columbus Day to 'Indigenous Peoples Day'

Peter Hancock

A House committee may vote Wednesday on whether to recommend a [bill that would double the production limit for microbreweries][1] in Kansas to 60,000 barrels a year. The House Federal and State Affairs Committee [heard testimony on that bill last week][2]. It was requested primarily by Manhattan-based Tallgrass Brewery, which ...

Kansas GOP convention won't be on Kansas Day this year

Peter Hancock

For the first time in almost anyone's memory, the Kansas Republican Party will not hold its [annual state convention][1] over Kansas Day weekend this year. Instead, it'll be about a month later, the weekend of Feb. 19-20, this year in Overland Park. "This has been a discussion for several years ...

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 ...

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