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Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

The cost of protesting at the Kansas Capitol in Topeka is increasing sometimes substantially.

Currently, Kansas charges $20 for any event at the Capitol. But beginning Jan. 1, it will charge based on the size of the event and other factors. The lowest price will be $50 for events that require no setup or cleanup.

The Kansas City Star reports factors increasing the price will include if groups require a podium, access to the public address system or tables and chairs.

Carla Eckels / KMUW/File Photo

The Kansas Secretary of State's office says new Kansas driver's licenses could not be scanned on electronic poll books across the state during last week's local elections.

Elections Director Bryan Caskey said Monday that did not keep anyone from voting because poll workers manually type in names if scanners can't read the bar codes. He noted other acceptable voter IDs for elections, such as passports, can't be scanned.

Kansas began issuing new driver's licenses that are Real ID compliant in August.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service/File photo

The Kansas Supreme Court is divided over whether a law requiring criminal offenders to register with local authorities after prison represents extra punishment.

A 4-3 majority has concluded that registration for sex, drug and violent offenders is not extra punishment. Its latest decision came Thursday in the appeal of Djuan Richardson.

He was convicted of selling cocaine in Sedgwick County in 2003 and pleaded guilty to violating the offender registration law in 2011. He later sought unsuccessfully to withdraw that plea.

JIM MCLEAN / KANSAS NEWS SERVICE

A Republican candidate for Kansas governor supports restoring a ban on discrimination against gays and lesbians in state employment and hiring.

Former state Sen. Jim Barnett said Thursday that as governor, he would make it clear "there will not be discrimination."

In 2015, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback rescinded a 2007 executive order from former Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius barring discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in state hiring and employment decisions.

Kansas legislative leaders plan to spend $400,000 to get help in drafting a new public school funding law, including separate lawyers for the House and Senate.

The five top Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature agreed on the plan Tuesday. The two Democrats present at legislative leaders' meeting called it a waste of money and opposed it.

The House and Senate each would spend $100,000 to hire its own attorney. The entire Legislature has had a single attorney previously.

Tex Texin / flickr Creative Commons

Federal investigators have determined that a fire last week at a Kansas restaurant run by a Middle Eastern family was intentionally set.

The Petra Mediterranean Restaurant in Wichita was destroyed Wednesday. The words "Go back" were painted on a nearby storage unit.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a $5,000 reward for information about the fire.

The FBI, which investigates hate crimes, was notified last week.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback's office has confirmed that he fired the state Department of Commerce's top administrator in June partly over questions about agency contracts — an about-face after weeks of denying that the former official had been terminated.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas is reporting that it collected nearly $32 million more in taxes than anticipated in October.

It was the fifth consecutive month tax collections exceeded expectations.

The Department of Revenue reported Wednesday that state took in nearly $501 million in taxes last month. Its official forecast predicted $469 million. The surplus was 6.8 percent.

Since the current budget year began in July, tax collections are $105 million ahead of expectations, or 5.5 percent.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

The Kansas Legislature should have independent attorneys investigate sexual harassment claims against its members, a Democratic leader proposed Thursday, promising he will be willing to strip committee assignments from lawmakers in his party who engage in misconduct.

Minority Leader Jim Ward also said that fellow House Democrats will undergo sexual harassment training during a December retreat.

Experts are saying the Kansas economy is heavily dependent on global free trade and immigrant labor at a time when both are considered charged political issues in the U.S.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the University of Kansas' Institute for Policy and Social Research sponsored the annual Kansas Economic Policy Conference on Thursday.

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