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Kansas’ three political parties began the process this week of selecting their candidates for the 4th Congressional District special election (the first in Kansas for a House seat since 1950). State Treasurer Ron Estes was named the Republicans' nominee on the April 11th ballot; Democrats and Libertarians from the district will each meet Saturday.

Meg Wingerter / Kansas News Service

Dana Stanton drove hours from Hays to a Friday meeting in Topeka hoping to learn what the governor’s budget proposal would mean for the children’s programs she oversees.

After the Kansas Children’s Cabinet meeting adjourned, she didn’t know much more than she did before.

Laura Spencer / KCUR/File photo

Democrats and Libertarians from Kansas' 4th Congressional District will each have nominating conventions Saturday to select their nominees for the special election to replace Mike Pompeo, who was picked to be the president's new director of the CIA.

ag.ks.gov

Kansas' attorney general says the U.S. Department of justice has identified Kansas as a state of origination for victims of human trafficking. Derek Schmidt is continuing his fight to address the issue with more proposed legislation.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

While one tax plan stalls in the Kansas Senate, another tax proposal makes headway in the Kansas House.

Thursday, the House tax committee advanced a bill that would eliminate an income tax exemption for business owners. It would also add a third income tax bracket and raise income tax rates.

Some Republicans say the income tax hikes are too steep for them to support. Others, like Republican Representative Melissa Rooker, say it would help with the state’s finances.

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.

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