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Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

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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President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture, former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, testified in a confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture committee on Thrusday, but remains far from the head job at USDA.

The committee did not indicate when it would vote on whether to advance Perdue’s nomination.

Joe Gratz / flickr Creative Commons

The state of Kansas has withdrawn a suit against the federal government over changes to Title IX that extended protections to cover gender identity. President Donald Trump recently revoked the Obama-era guidance sent out last year.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Kansas lawmakers are now a step away from what could be a showdown with Republican Gov. Sam Brownback on the political football issue of Medicaid expansion.

The Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee on Thursday advanced an expansion bill to the full Senate for a vote supporters say will take place Monday.

“Hallelujah,” said Sen. Laura Kelly, a Topeka Democrat, immediately after the committee approved the bill on a voice vote with little debate.

J. Schafer / KPR/File photo

A proposed school funding bill in Kansas would add $75 million to the public education system, but many educators say that’s far less than they expected and may not be enough to satisfy the state Supreme Court.

AP

Judge Neil Gorsuch has been grilled by the Senate Judiciary Committee for more than 18 hours of questioning over two separate days, and the proceedings are not finished yet. On Thursday, the committee hears testimony from witnesses about Gorsuch's qualifications to be a justice of the US Supreme Court.

Susie Fagan / Kansas News Service

Updated Thursday 11:06 a.m.

A dispute about the cost and potential benefits of expanding Medicaid eligibility heated up ahead of a Kansas Senate committee vote on a bill. The committee voted Thursday morning to send the expansion bill to the full Senate, which is expected to hold a vote Monday.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

The WWII B-29 airplane "Doc," which has been restored by volunteers, will be shown off at airshows beginning next month.

The B-29 Boeing Superfortress will begin its tour at Wichita's Yingling Aviation on April 22 with an open house for Doc.

The warbird will then continue its spring/summer tour with shows at the Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana and at the Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. Doc will also make an appearance at the EAA Air Venture show in Oshkosh Wisconsin. More dates and places are in the works.

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is now offering additional assistance for farmers and ranchers affected by recent wildfires. More than 700,000 acres in 21 Kansas counties were scorched by a series of blazes that tore across the state.

The NRCS is offering $2 million in funding to restore cropland, rangeland, and forestland destroyed by the wildfires. The initiative also extends to Oklahoma, and Texas.

The agency is working with local conservation districts to identify specific concerns within various counties.

Reno County Fire District #6

Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a bill that will make it a little more affordable for people affected by wildfires to rebuild damaged fences.

The new Kansas law will create a sales tax exemption for materials purchased to replace burned fences. The bill moved incredibly fast, from a legislative perspective. The House and Senate approved it just last week.

There are programs at the federal level to help with recovery, but Gov. Brownback says this is something the state can do.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

A Kansas Senate committee has voted to restore some funding to higher education. Cuts were made to state colleges and universities earlier this fiscal year.

Gov. Sam Brownback had proposed adding millions of dollars in the coming two years to a state scholarship fund. As part of the Senate budget plan, the new money would instead be diverted and used to restore some funding to the University of Kansas and Kansas State University.

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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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