Statehouse Briefing

Video: Brownback meets with Romney supporters in Ohio

Gov. Sam Brownback [hit the campaign trail][1] for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney today, visiting with voters in Ohio. In the northeast Ohio town of Ravenna, Brownback met with about 20 Romney supporters who waited for the Kansas governor to emerge from a Romney-Ryan tour ...

Brownback to show appreciation for state employees

Gov. Sam Brownback's office will provide ice cream and cookies to state employees on Friday. The event, to run from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the Statehouse, is being held to show appreciation to state employees. Workers are encouraged to bring a sack lunch or buy food from vendors ...

Media reports focus on ALEC, corporate ties

In recent days, the American Legislative Exchange Council has been the focus of numerous media reports for pushing corporate interests in Legislatures across the nation, including Kansas. The corporate-funded group gathers conservative legislators for meetings to put together "model ...

Tonight’s meeting on SRS office closure likely to touch on many issues

Tonight's meeting to discuss the recent decision by the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services to shut down its Lawrence office will likely touch on several changes at SRS under Gov. Sam Brownback's administration. The meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at Plymouth ...

Meeting called to discuss SRS office closure

The office of House Democratic Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence says a meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday at Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vt. to discuss the recent decision by Gov. Sam Brownback's administration to close the Lawrence office of the Kansas Department of Social and ...

Anti-abortion group seeks further abortion restrictions

Emboldened by the anti-abortion agenda of Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas Legislature, an anti-abortion group said Tuesday it will start a petition drive to have a special legislative session to enact a measure banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detectable, which can be as early as ...

State Board of Education member Chappell switches to Republican Party

State Board of Education member Walt Chappell has switched to the Republican Party. Chappell, of Wichita, who won election to the 10-member board as a Democrat, said Tuesday that he changed his party affiliation last week. He said he switched because he supported the tax position of ...

Weiner’s gym shots raise questions

News of U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner's photos that he took of himself in the House gym raised a couple of questions in my mind -- "The House has a gym? Why?" The gymnasium is located beneath the Rayburn House Office Building, according to the website of the Architect of the Capitol. Here's a ...

New soccer stadium gets assist from Kansas taxpayers

Reading all the glowing articles this morning about the new $200 million state-of-the-art soccer stadium in Kansas City, Kan. that opens tonight got me to wondering, "Isn't the state of Kansas — read Kansas taxpayers — involved in this project?'" The answer is yes. In 2010, Gov. Mark ...

Readers seek ways to save bucks

Last week, I asked readers to submit suggestions on how the state could save money or be run more efficiently in light of the massive drop in tax collections that has forced cutbacks in most areas of state government. I received several ideas and questions, in fact more than I could get to, ...

A battle of coal polls

There are two polls taking the pulse of Kansans on the issue of whether to build two 700-megawatt coal-burning power plants in southwest Kansas. One, which shows support for coal, was done for the Kansas Chamber of Commerce. The chamber is pushing hard for approval of the coal plants. The ...

Legislative absence; COBRA help; and awaiting confirmation

Some lawmakers are upset that a group of legislators have been getting paid for working Friday when they haven’t been coming to the Capitol. State Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick, put a provision in the proposed budget that would require a lawmaker to be present to be paid, or the lawmaker ...

Changes in workers’ comp benefits appear doubtful

TOPEKA — The chairman of a subcommittee working on a bill that would increase the caps on some workers’ compensation benefits said Wednesday the proposal was probably dead for the session. “The fact is this is an extremely complicated issue,” state Sen. Dick Kelsey, R-Goddard, said ...

Davis reacts to Sebelius administration controversy

The decision by Kansas Secretary of Social and Rehabilitation Services Don Jordan to increase funding to a group led by well-connected Democrats has caused a stir in the Kansas Legislature. Republicans are planning hearings on the issue after reports revealed that Community Living ...

State finance council approved $225 million in interim financing

2:25 p.m. -- council approves $225 million. Goossen tells the council that there was concern among bond raters about the earlier impasse.2:12 -- Goossen says there $4 million in the state general fund. He says $225 million in certificates are needed to pay off state expenses through mid-April ...

Republicans want Sebelius out of Kansas

TOPEKA — Republican Senate leaders who have been at odds with Gov. Kathleen Sebelius over proposed budget cuts said Friday they hope Sebelius does get picked by President Obama to serve as secretary of Health and Human Services. “It might actually be helpful,” said Senate Majority Leader ...

Speculation starts over Sebelius and new vacancy

Moments after Tom Daschle withdrew his name Tuesday from nomination to be secretary of health and human services, national media speculation focused on the possibility of President Barack Obama picking Gov. Kathleen Sebelius in his sted. Asked to respond to the reports, Sebelius’ office put ...

Budget gets worse and a look at next week

Budget crisis worsensLegislative leaders said Friday that January’s tax receipts were about $27 million below earlier projections, meaning that the budget shortfall previously thought to be $186 million for the current fiscal year, is getting worse.State Sen. John Vratil, R-Leawood, said that ...