Statehouse Live

Sens. Roberts, Moran unite behind DeVos for education secretary despite widespread criticism

Peter Hancock

Kansas U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran have both expressed support for Betsy DeVos, President Trump's pick for education secretary, despite widespread opposition and concern from the Kansas education community. DeVos, who is married to billionaire Dick DeVos, heir to the Amway fortune, is widely known as a champion ...

Kansas officials weigh in on Gorsuch nomination to Supreme Court

Peter Hancock

A number of Kansas public officials and advocacy groups weighed in Wednesday on President Donald Trump's nomination of 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. And as one might expect, their reactions fell along partisan and ideological lines. "Judge Gorsuch is ...

Jenkins explains timing of retirement announcement

Peter Hancock

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins on Friday explained the timing of her retirement announcement this week, saying she was under pressure from other Republicans to make a decision so they could get started on their own 2018 campaign plans. Speaking briefly with reporters at the Statehouse Friday, Jenkins said she was ...

Former lawmaker Dennis McKinney to announce bid for Congress

Peter Hancock

Former House Democratic Leader Dennis McKinney, of Greensburg, is planning to throw his hat in the ring for the upcoming special election in the 4th Congressional District. McKinney said he plans to make a formal announcement Wednesday. The special election is being held to fill the vacancy created when Republican ...

Pompeo confirmation sets up special election in 4th District

Peter Hancock

The U.S. Senate Monday night confirmed Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo as CIA Director, setting up a special election that could turn into the first public referendum on President Donald Trump's new administration. By most assessments, such a referendum would likely end favorably for whomever the Republican Party nominates, and for ...

Top 5 things Kansans should watch in a Trump administration

Peter Hancock

With every change of administrations in Washington, D.C. comes an expectation of change. For some, those expectations are wrapped in a sense of hope and optimism; and for others, depending on one's political leanings, they're wrapped with fear and apprehension. That was certainly true eight years ago when Barack Obama ...

In questioning DeVos, Sen. Roberts stays clear of school choice, vouchers

Peter Hancock

Betsy DeVos, a school choice advocate and President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of education, faced tough questions during her confirmation hearing Tuesday from many senators on the Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, but not from Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts. Instead, Roberts steered entirely clear of all K-12 education ...

Kobach seeks authority for bifurcated elections; downplays issue of missing registrations

Peter Hancock

TOPEKA — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach asked for a bill to be introduced Tuesday that would give him authority to hold "bifurcated" elections so that potentially tens of thousands of registered voters could not vote in state or local elections. It would apply to people who register to ...

Tax and elections bills coming up in Week 2

Peter Hancock

An election bill and the first tax bill of the session are awaiting Kansas lawmakers as they head into the second week of the session starting Tuesday, with most lawmakers coming off of a four-day weekend. Friday was a "pro forma" day, meaning only a handful of lawmakers in each ...

The quandary over tax overhaul: Repealing LLC loophole won't be enough

Peter Hancock

In their first joint news conference of the session, the two Democratic leaders of the Legislature said they believe the only long-term solution to the state's ongoing budget problems is through taxes, and specifically repealing many or all of the sweeping tax cuts that Republican Gov. Sam Brownback championed in ...

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