Associated Press

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Stephen Koranda / KPR

Gov. Sam Brownback announced today that he will delay payments to the state's retirement fund. The move, he says, would help address Kansas budget shortfall.

Kansas is delaying roughly $90 million in contributions to pensions for public school and college employees as a potential short-term response to lower-than-expected tax collections.

Gov. Sam Brownback's office announced the move Friday. It said Brownback's budget director notified the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System that the contributions due on April 15 would be "temporarily delayed."

The League of Women Voters of Kansas has joined a federal class action lawsuit seeking to overturn a state law that requires voters to show proof of U.S. citizenship to register.

Roy Anderson / Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma Forestry Services

UPDATE

Thursday, April 7, 10:14 a.m: KPR's J. Schafer reports that Kansas officials say all major wildfires across the state have now been contained and are under control. Ben Bauman, the spokesman for the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, says the massive wildfire burning in northwest Oklahoma is no longer presenting a threat to counties in southern Kansas.

Original story:

Screenshot via MSNBC

The man convicted of killing abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was back in court Tuesday.

Scott Roeder was sentenced to 50 years in prison for the murder of Tiller, who was one of the few doctors in the country who performed late-term abortions. Roeder said that he killed Tiller in order to save the babies who were in imminent danger.

Wikipedia

Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo on Monday accused fellow Republican U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran of saying one thing in Kansas and another in Washington about filling a vacancy on the Supreme Court, prompting speculation that the House member could be planning a primary challenge against the incumbent senator.

Pompeo repeatedly evaded answering whether he is considering a primary challenge against Moran in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

"We just never comment on campaign activities that we are engaged in," Pompeo said.

Stephen Koranda, File Photo / Kansas Public Radio

Much attention is being paid to the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy, but equally partisan battles are being waged for control of state courts around the nation.

In states where voters elect Supreme Court judges, millions of dollars are being spent to reshape the courts for years to come. Judicial watchdogs say spending by national groups overwhelmingly favors judges on the right of the political spectrum, and is mostly aimed at maintaining or improving the courts' responses to corporate interests while countering state-level spending by labor unions and other interest groups.

www.bop.gov

A Federal Bureau of Prisons official has been appointed to lead the Kansas Department of Corrections.

Gov. Sam Brownback announced Monday that Joseph Norwood is his pick to replace Ray Roberts, who retired in December.

Norwood currently works as a regional director for the Federal Bureau of Prisons and has over 30 years of correctional experience. He will begin his position as the secretary of the Kansas Department of Corrections on May 30 if the state Senate confirms the appointment.

Ervins Strauhmanis, flickr Creative Commons

Tax collections in Kansas were less than $2 million short of estimates last month.

The state Department of Revenue on Friday said total tax receipts were $1.7 million below projections. The numbers are a turnaround from February, however, when collections were almost $54 million short, eating up the state's meager $6 million savings account.

Alberto G., flickr Creative Commons

Standardizing testing is on hold in more than a dozen states because of Internet problems at the University of Kansas where the test developer is based.

The university's Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation provides general end-of-year assessments for students in Kansas and Alaska. It also offers testing for students with significant cognitive disabilities in those states and 14 others Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

A Kansas county elections official used close ties to one of the nation's leading advocates of voting restrictions to help secure the top job at a government agency entrusted with making voting more accessible, and then used the federal position to implement an obstacle to voter registration in three states.

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