Associated Press

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Hugo Phan / KMUW/File photo

The Senate on Monday confirmed President Donald Trump's nominee to run the CIA despite some Democratic objections that Rep. Mike Pompeo has been less than transparent about his positions on torture, surveillance and Russia's meddling in the U.S. election.

The vote was 66-32.

Meg Wingerter / Kansas News Service/File photo

A new effort is underway to get more mental health services in rural areas of Kansas.

Kansas lawmakers are considering a bill designed to increase mental health services and get more psychiatrists into practice in underserved areas of the state.

The Kansas Psychiatric Society says all but five counties in Kansas have mental health professional shortages.

The idea is for the state to provide loans to medical students who agree to practice psychiatry in counties other than Douglas, Johnson, Sedgwick, Shawnee or Wyandotte.

Abigail Beckman / KMUW

Updated at 4:50 p.m. Monday: Wichita State University is replacing women's basketball coach Jody Adams-Birch in what it called an amicable parting.

A news release issued Sunday did not say whether Adams-Birch was fired or resigned. At a press conference Monday, Wichita State University officials remained tight-lipped about the departure, except to say they "mutually and amicably agreed to part ways."

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Some top Republican legislators in Kansas are looking to cut aid to public schools significantly to close a shortfall in the state's current budget by June 30.

Their goal is to avoid the accounting moves proposed by GOP Gov. Sam Brownback and used in the past to cover budget holes.

Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairwoman Carolyn McGinn said Friday that she's working on a bill to cut spending to close the projected $342 million shortfall in the state's current budget. The Sedgwick Republican said she hopes to have it drafted next week.

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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.

Pictures of Money / Flickr Creative Commons

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.

Jimmy Wayne, flickr Creative Commons

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 / KMUW/File photo

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

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