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Brownback Veto Sets Up Medicaid Expansion Battle With Legislature

Gov. Sam Brownback on Thursday morning vetoed a bill to expand Medicaid eligibility in Kansas, spurring a veto override effort an hour later in the Kansas House.

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Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas House and Senate negotiators have reached a compromise to balance the current year’s budget without cuts to state services. They have been facing a shortfall for the budget year ending in June of nearly $300 million.

The budget agreement would delay a payment into the Kansas pension plan, KPERS. It would also borrow some money from a state investment fund.

Stephen Koranda

The Kansas House Appropriations Committee has rejected giving pay raises to most state employees. Democratic Rep. John Alcala proposed the raises as part of a budget plan because some state employees haven’t had a pay increase for nearly 10 years.

The chairman of the committee, Republican Troy Waymaster, said with lawmakers facing a budget deficit, there simply isn’t enough money.

“We would like to do something for state employees. Is this the right time? In my opinion, no it’s not,” Waymaster says.

RDG Planning and Design/City of Wichita
Carla Eckels / KMUW

Early voting is underway in Sedgwick County for Kansas’ 4th Congressional District special election, and with it comes the introduction of new voting machines.

Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman says citizens will still have an option to vote either by paper ballot or electronically.

Bryan Thompson / KCUR

The social and health effects of isolation on some rural Kansas residents spurred three Catholic nuns to convert a storefront in Concordia into a drop-in center where women can find support and resources.

Seven years after the center opened, two dozen women on average come through each day in the town of about 5,000 to socialize, do laundry, get a cooking lesson or simply connect with others.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Updated Tuesday at 10:41 a.m.

Buoyed by the failure of Republicans in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Kansas Senate on Tuesday gave final approval to a Medicaid expansion bill in a 25-14 vote.

respectable_photography / flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas House has given first-round approval to a bill lowering penalties for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Republican Rep. Blaine Finch says lawmakers lowered penalties for first-time marijuana possession last year, but didn’t lower penalties for paraphernalia. That means people could face harsher sentences for possession of a pipe than for possession of marijuana.

“It does keep it at a crime. There is a potential jail sentence," he says. "It just makes it proportional with the possession of the underlying drug."

sedgwickcounty.org

Sedgwick County has released its first strategic plan in more than 20 years. The plan outlines the county’s priorities and sets goals for the next five years.

The 12-page plan from the Sedgwick County manager’s office establishes the county’s new mission and explains its organizational values.

The county says it wants to be a “value driven, regional leader” that uses partnerships to deliver services to the public.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

A furniture store, not a grocery store, will soon occupy the former Walmart Neighborhood Market in northeast Wichita.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

The Kansas Senate is likely to debate a budget proposal this week, and House lawmakers could also make progress on their spending plan. But there’s one hitch: Both budgets are unbalanced.

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Commentary

Movie Review: 'Wilson'

At first glance, Wilson , both the movie and the title character, seems cynical and misanthropic. But I don’t actually believe that’s the case.

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KMUW Music

Sunday, April 2

Sunday on Soulsations sensational funk, jazzy sounds from the newly formed MF Robots.  The duo, Jan Kincaid and Dawn Joseph, are former members of the band Brand New Heavies.  The two will release their second single "Come On With The Good Thing " on April 14th. 

Monday, March 27

Global Village devotes the show to Latin releases – including Afro- Cuban, contemporary Latin rock, Latin jazz and Afro-Latin music. Artists featured include legendary pianist Chucho Valdes with his tribute to Irakere, the pioneering Cuban band he co-founded;  U.S. based cumbia, boogaloo, and Latin rock bands Xixa, Grupo Fantasma, and Spanglish Fly; acclaimed Spanish singer Buika; bassist and jazz educator Carlos Henriquez; and Amadou Balake and Orchestra Baobab –  African performers who incorporated Cuban influences into their work.

March 31/April 2

Crossroads features music from James Cotton as a leader and early in his career as a member of Muddy Water’s band. Cotton passed away earlier this month.

Also this time, it’s a birthday salute to Oklahoma-born, West Coast-based blues great Lowell Fulson, who wrote several classic blues songs and was an inspiration to B.B. King and Ray Charles, among others.

Plus a final fling with March featured artists Aretha Franklin and Rufus Thomas, and new music from Samantha Fish, Elvin Bishop and Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials.

Album Cover Art

Saturday, April 1

Legends & Lies: We look back on some of the most popular scams, spoofs and urban legends of rock and pop music with selections from Phil Collins, The Beatles, Red Rider and more.

Monday, April 3

Courtesy photo

Texas trio Mothership features brothers Kyle and Kelley Juett, and although it's not unheard of for siblings to play in bands together, Kyle Juett points out that he and his brother share bonds that run beyond their bloodline or music.

“My brother and I have always been into the same things,” he says. “We’ve always dove into the same bands at the same time. Our father always listened to good rock ‘n’ roll.”

Early on, the brothers recruited their father to fill out the band's lineup.

Noteworthy

Movie Review: 'The Sense Of An Ending'

The Sense of an Ending is a small British drama based on a Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name. But don’t let the size of the movie fool you—the humanity on display far exceeds what seem to be modest cinematic goals.

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