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ag.ks.gov

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has been elected by his colleagues in other states and U.S. territories as vice president of their national association.

Schmidt's office says the two-term Republican received the honor during the recent summer meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General in San Diego.

Schmidt previously has served as the group's Midwestern regional chairman, the co-chairman of its consumer protection committee and the vice chairman of its committee on combatting human trafficking.

Stephen Koranda file photo

Kansas legislators aren't quite done with their work for the year because they inadvertently enacted two conflicting versions of a new law aimed at holding down local property taxes.

House Speaker Ray Merrick's office said Friday that legislators will reconvene June 26 to pass a bill addressing the problem. Spokeswoman Rachel Whitten described it as a technical fix.

Legislators already were scheduled to have a brief adjournment ceremony that day.

Jimmy Wayne, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Board of Regents has approved 2 percent increases in the base salaries of the top administrators at five state universities.

The board approved the additional compensation Thursday.

Wichita State University President John Bardo's salary will be about $357,000, an increase of about $7,000.

University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little will receive a base salary of about $510,000 for the fiscal year beginning July 1. The increase is $10,000.

Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz will see his salary rise about $9,300 to $476,000.

Alex Proimos, flickr Creative Commons

Employers across Kansas believe students need to be learning more life skills in school, according to the state's new education commissioner.

Randy Watson, who will become education commissioner July 1, said that's what he's been hearing from companies at a Wednesday meeting with employers and educators in Lawrence.

"None of us would say that academic skills aren't important," said Watson, who has been a longtime superintendent for the McPherson school district. "But we're hearing that is just a subset of what makes for a successful employee."

https://www.kansasregents.org/index.cfm

Update:

The Kansas Board of Regents is limiting increases in tuition and fees at state universities this fall to 3.6 percent after strictly interpreting a cap imposed by the Legislature.

The board's unanimous decision today came a day after it told universities to revise their proposals on tuition and fees.

Kansas Legislature

A Democratic legislator says Kansas lawmakers need to rewrite campaign finance laws to close what he sees as a loophole involving loans by candidates to their own campaigns.

Democratic Rep. Jim Ward of Wichita called for a review of campaign finance laws Wednesday. His comments came after the U.S. attorney's office in Kansas said it expected no federal criminal charges to be filed from an investigation of loans by Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer to his and Gov. Sam Brownback's re-election campaign.

brownback,com

Federal prosecutors have completed their investigation into loans made to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback's re-election campaign by his lieutenant governor and plan to bring no criminal charges, the U.S. attorney's office said Wednesday.

Jim Cross, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom, told The Associated Press that no federal charges are expected in the case that involved the loans from Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer. Minutes earlier, Brownback and Colyer released a joint statement saying they had been informed of the decision.

Gage Skidmore, flickr Creative Commons

Governor Sam Brownback is defending the tax package passed by the state Legislature in the final hours of its 113-day session. Jim McLean has more.

From the Associated Press:

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback said Tuesday that Kansas isn't really increasing taxes even though the state will raise its sales and cigarette taxes to balance the budget.

Sean Sandefur file photo

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a bill giving him more discretion in making some budget cuts during the next fiscal year while protecting aid to public schools.

The Republican governor signed the measure Tuesday. It will remain in effect only during the fiscal year that begins July 1.

thinkpanama, flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a bill that allows the state to change controversial limits on the amount of money welfare recipients could withdraw from ATMs.

The bill does not eliminate the restriction. It allows the secretary of the Department for Children and Families to increase or eliminate the $25-per-day limit on ATM withdrawals with a state cash assistance card.

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