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Kansas News Service/ File Photo

A Kansas House committee overseeing budgets for social services offered appreciation to programs serving the elderly and people with disabilities or mental illnesses.

Legislators may not be able to offer much more than that.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

The message delivered to a legislative committee Thursday by opponents of expanding Medicaid eligibility in Kansas boiled down to this: Expansion has been a disaster in the states that have enacted it, so don’t do it.

Gregg Pfister, legislative relations director for the Florida-based Foundation for Government Accountability, ticked through a list of expansion states where costs and enrollment significantly exceeded projections.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW/File photo

A state conservation agency is offering financial assistance to help improve the rangeland that was affected by last year’s wildfire in southern Kansas.

The wildfire damaged more than 40 structures and thousands of miles of fencing, and killed hundreds of cattle in Barber and Comanche counties in March 2016. About 400,000 acres of land were burned, destroying pastures and trees.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

Kansas Republicans in the 4th District selected State Treasurer Ron Estes as their nominee for the special congressional election. The district’s 126 voting delegates held their convention Thursday night.

It took two rounds of voting for Estes to receive the majority necessary to win with an eventual 66 votes. He beat out four other candidates: Todd Tiahrt, Joseph Ashby, George Bruce and Alan Cobb, who came in second.

Stephen Koranda

A tax and budget debate fizzled in the Kansas Senate Thursday, before it had even started. As Stephen Koranda reports, the situation reveals just how divided lawmakers have become as they work to solve the state's budget crisis.

KCUR

A torrent of civil lawsuits over alleged sexual abuse by a former employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Leavenworth is expected now that a federal judge has refused to dismiss one of the cases.

Three more lawsuits were filed this week in federal court, bringing the total to 15 so far, and dozens more are expected to be filed in coming months.

The suits by military veterans accuse Mark E. Wisner, a one-time physician’s assistant at the hospital who held himself out as a doctor, of sexually molesting them during physical exams.

Frank Morris / KCUR

Legislation aimed at helping the Kansas aviation industry has been grounded in Topeka.

The bill would have provided generous tax credits to engineering graduates who go to work in the Kansas aviation industry, as well as the companies that hire them.

Backed by the Wichita Chamber of Commerce as a way to reverse almost a decade of aviation job losses, it appeared to have some momentum.

Adapt Pharma

Kansas is one of three states that doesn’t allow first responders to carry a drug to reverse opioid overdoses.

Rep. Greg Lakin, a Republican from Wichita, wants to get the state off that exclusive list. A bill in the House Health and Human Services Committee would allow first responders to carry medication to reverse opioid overdoses.

Under current Kansas law, doctors can only prescribe overdose-reversing drugs to a person who is at risk of an overdose, such as someone using opioids for chronic pain.

Susie Fagan / Kansas News Service

A yearlong campaign aimed at building support for Medicaid expansion culminated Wednesday in a show-of-force lobbying effort aimed at convincing Kansas lawmakers that they still have time to act.

A crowd of approximately 200 filled the north wing of the Statehouse for a rally before the House Health and Human Services Committee convened a hearing on a bill that would expand eligibility for KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program, to more low-income Kansans.

Courtesy of The Kansas Aviation Museum

A rare, fully restored 1931 Wichita airplane will be dedicated on Thursday at the Kansas Aviation Museum.

The yellow and green Watkins Skylark SL is the only fully restored airplane of its kind. The plane crashed in 1933; later, several parts of the aircraft, including the vertical fin and wings, were found on a farm in southeast Kansas.

Dana Steffee, executive director of the Kansas Aviation Museum, says the pieces were gathered and worked on for 10 years by the museum’s volunteer restoration team.

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