News

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The state of Kansas has withdrawn a suit against the federal government over changes to Title IX that extended protections to cover gender identity.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.

Bruce Tuten, flickr Creative Commons

President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the agriculture department will face Senate confirmation hearings on Thursday.

Sonny Perdue was the last cabinet secretary nomination Trump announced more than two months ago.

Some senators have said one reason it’s taken so long for confirmation hearings is that Perdue had to unravel himself from many agribusiness dealings in order to comply with financial disclosure and ethics requirements.

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