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Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is asking the Legislature to give him authority to bar potentially tens of thousands of people from casting votes in state or local races.

The Lawrence Journal World reported the Republican asked a Senate committee Tuesday for legislation giving him power to hold "bifurcated" elections in Kansas.

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Two-thirds of states across the country -- including Kansas -- are facing budget challenges.

Several states, including Arizona, Minnesota, Utah and New Jersey, are expected to come out ahead financially for the current fiscal year and the upcoming one beginning July 1. But others are projected to have budget shortfalls reaching hundreds of millions -- and in some cases, billions -- of dollars.

North Dakota has a budget hole of about $1.4 billion over the next two years. Oklahoma is expected to fall short by close to $870 million in the upcoming fiscal year.

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The Kansas Board of Regents will ask the legislature to restore $30 million in funding that was cut last year.

Regents CEO and President Blake Flanders says the board would like to see state funding at least stabilize.

In 2012, tuition became a larger source of university revenue than state general fund support. Flanders noted the shift in a presentation Tuesday on the board's long-term goals to the Senate Education Committee.

Nadya Faulx, file photo / KMUW

A conservative Kansas House member says he's drafting a bill to require transgender students in public schools to use bathrooms associated with their genders at birth.

Republican Rep. John Whitmer of Wichita said Tuesday his bill also would impose the same policy for locker rooms and accommodations for students on overnight trips.

Whitmer said he plans to introduce the measure soon. He said it will not apply to private schools or higher education, and it won't allow people to sue for damages if a school violates the policy.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR

U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, a physician from Great Bend, Kansas, was selected Wednesday to serve on the House Agriculture Committee. Marshall defeated incumbent Tim Huelskamp in the August primary last year.

Marshall’s win in the “Big First” district was largely due to his support from the agriculture industry. The 1st Congressional District covers 63 counties in northern and western Kansas.

Stephen Koranda, File Photo / Kansas Public Radio

The Kansas Supreme Court is heading into a year in which it could play a significant role in state government by making major rulings on school funding and abortion, and seeking higher pay for court employees. The court also could make decisions in the kinds of capital punishment cases that put four justices at risk of losing their seats in the 2016 election.

Here's a look at big cases and major issues facing the state's highest court in 2017.

School Funding

kansasregents.org

Kansas universities are reviewing their earthquake insurance policies after an increasing number of tremors have been felt in the state.

  

The Kansas Board of Regents university system already has $1 billion in property insurance. The coverage includes $100 million in earthquake protection.

The Regents Council of Presidents discussed the possibility of adding more earthquake coverage at their December meeting. University Chief Financial Officers are still considering the issue.

Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor/File photo

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback said Wednesday that he's not rethinking his support for a Kansas law that will allow concealed guns on state college campuses starting in July, despite opposition from faculty, students and administrators.

A law enacted by the GOP-controlled Legislature and signed by Brownback in 2013 expanded the rights of gun owners age 21 and older to carry concealed weapons into public buildings. It allowed state universities and community colleges to exempt themselves for four years.

Kansas GOP, Andy Marso

The six Kansas electors cast their votes in Topeka on Monday. Secretary of State Kris Kobach presided over the quick meeting, which lasted less than 20 minutes.

“So the final vote of the electors of Kansas is six votes for Mr. Trump for president, and six votes for Mr. Pence for vice president," Kobach said.

The tally brought a mix of cheers and boos. Some shouted “shame” from the unusually full state Senate gallery. Kobach said when he was an elector in 2008 the gallery was empty.

Kansas Bioscience Authority

State officials have agreed to sell the investments of the Kansas Bioscience Authority for about $14 million.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Gov. Sam Brownback and leaders on the State Finance Council on Friday agreed to authorize sale of the portfolio to Origami Capital Partners for $14 million to $14.5 million.

The state has invested $232 million in the Bioscience Authority since it was formed in 2004 to accelerate growth in the bioscience sector.

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