Statehouse Live

Why Jim Ward’s exit from Kansas governor’s race could help Democrats in 2018

House Minority Leader Jim Ward’s exit from the 2018 race for governor in Kansas came as a surprise to some observers, but not much of a surprise to those who were paying close attention to fundraising numbers. Ward, a Wichita Democrat, had raised less than $100,000 at year’s end in 2017 ...

Corporate tax breaks part of final package being negotiated in Kansas Legislature

Two specific kinds of corporate tax breaks, the size of which officials can't even estimate yet, are at the center of bargaining between the Kansas House and Senate that threatens to push the Legislature right up to its deadline Friday night. Those tax breaks are part of an effort by ...

Senate tax bill sent to conference committee

The Kansas House on Thursday declined to go along with a Senate-passed tax bill that would cut state income taxes for most people, with Republican leaders saying there is still too little information available about what it would do to state revenues and the budget. The [Senate Substitute ...

School finance fix may be easier than first thought

Kansas lawmakers were told Wednesday that fixing an $80 million problem in the recently-passed school finance bill may be easier than many first assumed. During a joint meeting of the House and Senate budget committees, staff from the Legislative Research Department said lawmakers do not ...

The Statehouse guessing game: Who will be the next lieutenant governor?

As Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer prepares to take over as governor at 3 p.m. Wednesday, there is one question that seems to dominate almost every conversation in the hallways of the Statehouse: Who will be the next lieutenant governor? Under [Kansas law][1], Colyer will have authority to appoint the ...

Kansas lawmakers to start pushing transparency initiatives

As the Kansas Legislature heads into the third week of the 2018 session, with little progress being made on school finance until a consultant's report comes out in mid-March, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are starting to turn their attention to issues of transparency in the ...

GOP donors not flocking to Barnett this time in Kansas governor’s race

In a story that was posted online Thursday and carried in Friday's print edition summarizing campaign finance reports in this year's governor's race, we inadvertently omitted Republican candidate Jim Barnett. According to his report, Barnett's campaign took in a total of $564,645 in 2017. Of ...

New poll shows how far Colyer is behind Kobach in one key area

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer has scheduled a news conference Monday to announce proposed budget enhancements for the Department for Children and Families. That's unusual for two reasons: First, because it is rare for anyone other than the governor's office to announce budget proposals before the ...

Brownback still optimistic about diplomatic post

Gov. Sam Brownback said Thursday that he was still optimistic that his nomination to a diplomatic post in the Trump administration would be resubmitted to the U.S. Senate and that he would eventually be confirmed, although the White House has not yet made an announcement. Asked during an ...

GOP race for governor heats up as Barnett takes aim at Kobach

Former state Sen. Jim Barnett added some heat to the race for the Republican nomination for governor this week by taking direct aim at the presumed front-runner, Secretary of State Kris Kobach. In a news release, Barnett, a physician who now lives in Topeka but used to represent a Senate ...

Resubmission of Brownback’s nomination explained

If Gov. Sam Brownback is to become the next U.S. ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom, President Donald Trump will have to resubmit his nomination to the U.S. Senate early next year, according to Senate rules. David Popp, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, ...

Report: Senate won’t confirm Brownback in 2017

The U.S. Senate will not confirm Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback for a diplomatic post in the Trump administration before the end of the year, setting up the possibility that he may still be governor when the 2018 legislative session starts on Jan. 8. The McClatchy News Service published a story ...

Laura Kelly upends Democratic race for governor

State Sen. Laura Kelly, of Topeka, jumped into Kansas' 2018 gubernatorial race late last week and immediately became the odds-on favorite to win the Democratic nomination, according to some outside observers, sending a strong message to the other three major candidates that party leaders were ...

Orman makes governor’s race a 3-way contest, to the advantage of Republicans

Greg Orman stepped into the 2018 governor's race Wednesday as an independent, banking on the idea that voters have become disenchanted with the two main political parties. Orman, readers will recall, is the Johnson County businessman who ran a strong challenge against Republican U.S. Sen. Pat ...