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Kansas cities may soon be able to designate districts where patrons can move among bars, restaurants and entertainment venues, drinks in hand.

Both the House and Senate have passed versions of a bill that would allow areas similar to Kansas City, Missouri's Power and Light District, where patrons can leave bars with their alcoholic beverages and move around a common area. Lawmakers are working toward a resolution between the two versions.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says he'll declare within the next two months whether he's seeking the Republican nomination for governor in 2018.

Kobach said during a recent Associated Press interview that he's looking at the race very seriously. GOP Gov. Sam Brownback is term-limited.

The Kansas secretary of state was considered a candidate for a job in President Donald Trump's administration. But he said he turned down positions in the White House and the Department of Homeland Security because he and his family wanted to stay in Kansas.

AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan

Designs for signs that were advertising businesses along historic Route 66 have been found and preserved. Some of the route's history can be seen in a tiny corridor in Kansas.

Route 66 was one of the first highways in the U.S. It ran from east to west – Chicago to Santa Monica.

From 1926 until Eisenhower signed the Interstate Highway Act in 1956, the highway was a migratory path, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s and much later as a touristy road to American sites for vacationers.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

The Kansas Board of Regents says the University of Kansas must change one clause from its concealed weapons policy.

KU wanted to require anyone carrying a concealed handgun in a handbag, purse or backpack to keep those items physically with them at all times.

The regents voted Wednesday that the university needed to remove that clause.

Hugo Phan, file photo / KMUW

From the AP:

National Democrats are taking the first, modest steps toward their promised 50-state strategy, lending help to state and local parties as they try to harness opposition to President Donald Trump and the Republican monopoly in Washington.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Republican legislators on Monday saw their most aggressive proposal yet for increasing income taxes to fix Kansas' budget and provide extra money for public schools, even advancing other proposals that would lessen their need to roll back past tax cuts championed by GOP Gov. Sam Brownback.

The new proposal would reinstate the income tax laws that were in place in Kansas in 2012 before Brownback persuaded lawmakers to slash rates and grant an exemption to more than 330,000 farmers and business owners. The plan would raise $1.4 billion over two years.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

An attorney representing school districts that successfully sued Kansas over education funding says a school finance plan being considered by lawmakers is inadequate.

John Robb made his comments Monday as a special House committee prepared to debate the proposal. Robb represents the Dodge City, Hutchinson, Wichita and Kansas City, Kansas, districts.

The plan before the House committee would phase in a $750 million increase in the state's $4 billion-plus in aid over five years.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

It may be the end of Lawrence-Dumont ballpark, and it may be the beginning of a shiny new sports facility in Wichita.

Lawrence-Dumont Stadium opened in 1934 and was named after Charles Lawrence, a former Wichita mayor, and Hap Dumont, the man who brought the National Baseball Congress to Wichita.

The ballpark has its roots on Ackerman Island, which allowed the venue to escape the Sunday "blue laws" about prohibited activities, such as baseball.

Kansas Policy Institute / Facebook

A conservative Kansas think tank is hoping to help launch a new legal institute next year to represent people who have conflicts with state and local governments.

The Kansas Policy Institute announced Monday that it is starting fundraising for a new Kansas Justice Institute and hope the institute can begin operations next year.

KPI President Dave Trabert said that while his small-government, anti-tax organization would help the nonprofit justice group form, it would be independent with its own board of directors.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas collected slightly more in taxes than it had expected in April.

The state Department of Revenue reported Monday that tax collections last month were $1.8 million more than anticipated.

The state collected about $639 million in taxes when it had anticipated about $637 million. The surplus for the month is 0.3 percent.

The report comes less than two weeks after state officials and university economists revised revenue projections through June 2019. The new forecast was a little more optimistic than the previous one issued in November.

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