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Appropriations chairman alleges that head of Kansas Turnpike offered $25 million to kill merger proposal

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — House Appropriations Committee Chairman Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, said the head of the Kansas Turnpike Authority offered Gov. Sam Brownback $25 million to back off his proposal to merge the KTA with the Kansas Department of Transportation. KTA President and Chief Exeuctive Officer Michael Johnston denied the allegation. Rhoades ...

Bill introduced to abolish death penalty in Kansas

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — A bill was introduced Thursday that would abolish the death penalty in Kansas. State Rep. Steven Becker, R-Buhler, said the bill would replace capital punishment with a sentence of life without parole. The measure would also establish a fund for anticipated savings from eliminating the death penalty, and ...

Advocates for undocumented immigrants urge rejection of bills

Scott Rothschild

Advocates for undocumented immigrants on Wednesday urged the Legislature to reject a bill that would establish an Arizona-like "proof of citizenship" law. About 50 people with Wichita-based Sunflower Community Action assembled in the Statehouse to protest Senate Bill 140 and House Bill 2192. SB 140 would authorize law enforcement to ...

Even states opposed to Medicaid expansion are working on Medicaid expansion

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — In Kansas, Gov. Sam Brownback and his conservative Republican colleagues in the Legislature seem to be following the no-way, no-how lead of Texas Gov. Rick Perry on whether to expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act. But this story [link text][1] in the San Antonio Express-News shows ...

ITEP report says race to no income tax based on flawed theory

Scott Rothschild

The effort by Gov. Sam Brownback and several other Republican governors to eliminate personal state income taxes is based on an economic theory that is "extremely flawed," a new report by a non-partisan research group says. Brownback has depended on the claims of supply-side economist Arthur Laffer that states without ...

'Celebrate Freedom Week' approved by House

Scott Rothschild

The Kansas House on Friday approved a bill that will require public schools to have a "Celebrate Freedom Week" every year in mid-September. Supporters said it would help students learn more about the early history of the United States and founding documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and ...

Senate Republican leaders say $10 million for KU medical building may be cut

Scott Rothschild

Senate leaders Thursday said Gov. Sam Brownback's budget proposal will be cut and that may eliminate $10 million to help Kansas University build a new health education building. "As you look at cuts, the easiest things to cut are projects that haven't started yet," said Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita. ...

Measure banning "wrongful birth" claims approved by Kansas Senate

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — The Kansas Senate on Thursday approved legislation that critics said would allow doctors to withhold information about prenatal problems from pregnant women if they believe it would lead the mother to get an abortion. Senate Bill 142 bans civil actions for a claim of so-called "wrongful life" or ...

Brownback remains undecided on Medicaid expansion; supports adult stem cell center; declines to state position on drug testing welfare recipients and relaxing renewable energy standards

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — Gov. Sam Brownback on Wednesday said he hasn't made up his mind on whether Kansas should opt in to a federally funded expansion of Medicaid, but he expressed concerns about the future flow of dollars to the state from Washington, D.C. In a brief question and answer period ...

Poll shows low approval rate for Brownback

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — Gov. Sam Brownback has one of the lowest approval ratings among U.S. governors, according to a poll released Tuesday, and is potentially vulnerable going into his 2014 re-election effort. However, the poll also showed there's no indication that Democrats can field a candidate who can defeat Brownback in ...

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