Associated Press

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Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas is reporting that it collected $24 million more in taxes than it anticipated in January as the Legislature wrestles with closing a shortfall in the current budget.

The state Department of Revenue's report Wednesday was good news for lawmakers. It is the third consecutive month that tax collections have exceeded expectations.

The department said Kansas collected $544 million in taxes last month. The figure is 4.6 percent higher than the $520 million anticipated.

Hugo Phan / KMUW/File photo

A bill that would exempt Kansas colleges from a mandate that they allow concealed carry of handguns is stuck in committee after failing to win approval Tuesday.

Forbes.com

The conservative Koch network plans to spend between $300 million and $400 million to influence politics and public policy over the next two years, intensifying its nationwide efforts in the initial years of Donald Trump's presidency.

Network officials disclosed their rough spending plans Saturday as donors gathered at a luxury hotel in the California desert. The investment, backed by the organization's extensive nationwide network, positions the billionaire industrialist family to play a major role in the debate over several Trump priorities even those they oppose.

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From the AP:

A Kansas prosecutor plans to seek the death penalty against one of two people accused of killing three people before fleeing to Mexico.

Harvey County Attorney David Yoder announced the plans to seek the death penalty against 35-year-old Jereme Nelson in a news release Friday. Yoder said he is still considering whether to seek the death penalty against 31-year-old Myrta Rangel.

donkeyhotey / Flickr / Creative Commons

Kansas Republicans are meeting Feb. 9 and Democrats are convening two days later to pick their nominees for the congressional seat formerly held by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

The special GOP convention in the 4th Congressional District will be in Wichita at Friends University and starts at 7 p.m.

Democrats plan to meet at 1 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Sedgwick County Courthouse in Wichita.

In both parties, local activists make the choice.

Gov. Sam Brownback has called an April 11 special election to fill the seat.

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.

Wikimedia Commons

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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