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Abigail Wilson

KS Supreme Court Rules State Has Not Funded Education Equitably

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the state's new block grant funding law does not meet the requirement for funding schools equitably. In the nearly unanimous ruling, Kansas Supreme Court justices say that the state Legislature should get another opportunity to create a constitutional funding system. If there is no acceptable remedy in place by June 30, "the schools in Kansas will be unable to operate."
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55Laney69, flickr Creative Commons

  

A Senate bill that would strengthen limits on the number of foster children in a home raised concerns from some who say it could lead to splitting sibling groups.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

The Sedgwick County Elections Office has received instructions from the Kansas Secretary of State’s office to adhere to a new voting rule put in place last week.

The decision was made by the new executive director of the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission.

According to the Secretary of State's office, the decision means Kansas residents can no longer register to vote using a federal form without providing proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate.

In most other states, no such documentation is needed to register; voters need only sign a sworn statement.

File photo

The Kansas Supreme Court says the state is not funding public schools fairly and has given the Legislature until the end of June to fix the problem. 

Republican Sen. Jeff Melcher criticized Thursday's ruling.

“It’s not unexpected. It’s essentially a temper tantrum by the courts to push their political will on the Legislature. It’s one of those things where ‘give us the money or the kid gets it,’” Melcher says.

Democratic Rep. Jim Ward of Wichita says lawmakers should immediately start working to address the problem.

Matt Allworth, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Senate has approved a bill designed to cut Kansas' costs in providing prescription drugs for poor and disabled residents.

The chamber's vote Wednesday was 23-16, sending the measure to the House.

The bill would allow the state's Medicaid program to use so-called step therapies for prescriptions that require patients to try less expensive drugs before obtaining more expensive ones.

Stephen Koranda

The Kansas House has approved a bill that would erase a shortfall in the next state budget, and the Senate is preparing to debate its own budget-balancing plan.

The House vote on its bill Thursday was 68-56. It came after Democratic Rep. Jim Ward of Wichita sought unsuccessfully to delay action because of a Kansas Supreme Court ruling on education funding.

Abigail Wilson

    

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the state's new block grant funding law does not meet the requirement for funding schools equitably.

In the nearly unanimous ruling, Kansas Supreme Court justices say that the state Legislature should get another opportunity to create a constitutional funding system. If there is no acceptable remedy in place by June 30, "the schools in Kansas will be unable to operate."

Stephen Koranda / KPR

The University of Kansas is embarking on a major construction project on the Lawrence campus. The Central District plan includes educational facilities, housing and a new student union. KU says it’s a needed update, but lawmakers are raising concerns about the project and have taken steps that could punish KU.

In the heart of the KU campus in Lawrence, excavators are digging through piles of concrete and twisted metal. This rubble used to be old student apartment housing, but a new science facility is planned for this spot.

Stephen Koranda

A rule in the Kansas House was used today to block a proposal to expand Medicaid.

Democratic Rep. Jim Ward offered the budget amendment to expand Medicaid under the federal health care law. He says it would provide more than 150,000 Kansans with health care coverage.

“Over 50 percent of these are working Kansans who go to work every day but work in jobs that don’t pay enough to buy insurance or don’t provide employer-based insurance,” Ward says.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

A weekly meeting about startups and entrepreneurs had its first event in Old Town this morning.

Dozens of people packed into Wichita State University’s new Old Town location for an initiative called 1 Million Cups, a program started in Kansas City that has spread to 77 cities across the U.S.

The idea behind 1 Million Cups is providing “a supportive, neutral space welcoming entrepreneurs to be open and honest about their businesses and the challenges they face.”

Nadya Faulx

The Kansas Historic Sites Board of Review has approved more than $1 million in grants that will help preserve houses, churches and other projects across the state.

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Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

KanCare Backlog Forcing Thousands To Wait For Coverage

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