Stephen Koranda

Stephen is the statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio.

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Government
12:58 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Gov. Brownback Won't Rule Out Tax Increase To Fix Budget

Governor Sam Brownback is staying tight-lipped about his plans to fix a hole in the state budget. But as Stephen Koranda reports, Brownback says he's looking at all the options.

Following a meeting at the Statehouse, Brownback gave few details to the media about what he'll propose. He says all options are on the table, including tax increases or slowing future scheduled decreases.

Brownback also won't say whether he'll make budget cuts, known as allotments before lawmakers return to the Statehouse in January.

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Transportation
12:41 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

KS Transportation Funding Might Help Balance Budget

Kansas lawmakers may dip into highway funding to help balance the state's budget. As Stephen Koranda reports, the state Senate's top budget write say transportation money could help fill the gap.

Andover Republican Senator Ty Masterson chairs the Ways and Means Committee. He says transportation is a big expense to the state and Kansas has already built a healthy system.

"Pulling back to a point of preservation, and not this aggressive expansion, wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. And it wouldn't be prolonged," says Masterson.

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Economy
12:42 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

New Forecast Shows KS Facing Big Budget Deficits

Governor Brownback's budget director, Shawn Sullivan.
Credit Stephen Koranda

A new revenue forecast shows Kansas needs to cut $279 million dollars to balance the current fiscal year's budget.

A $436 million-dollar deficit is ahead for the coming fiscal year.

Governor Sam Brownback says tax cuts he pushed would cause lower collections in the short term, but the revenues will rebound as the state's economy grows.

The governor's budget director, Shawn Sullivan, agrees.

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Government
6:00 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Group Updating KS Tax Collection Estimates

A group meeting on Monday will update estimates for Kansas tax collections. The revenue predictions let lawmakers know how much money they have to spend as they write the state budget. Stephen Koranda reports...

The Kansas Consensus Revenue Estimating Group is made up of members of the governor's administration, non-partisan legislative researchers and economists from universities in Kansas. They meet twice per year.

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Health
12:24 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

KU Hospital Better Prepared for Ebola

Dr. Lee Norman speaking to reporters.
Credit Stephen Koranda

Medical workers at the University of Kansas Hospital say they now have more knowledge about Ebola after taking care of a man who turned out not to have the disease.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lee Norman says there was a lot for them to learn.

"Most certainly, the learning curve is extremely steep as we get information from our colleagues around the country," he says. 

Norman says they're now better prepared to deal with any real cases of Ebola that should appear in the area.

He says he's pleased with the containment unit they built to house the man.

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Politics
12:06 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Chris Christie In KS To Stump For Brownback

Governor Brownback and Governor Chris Christie.
Credit Stephen Koranda

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was in Topeka on Monday to help Governor Sam Brownback in his race against Democrat Paul Davis.

Christie is chair of the Republican Governors Association.

He says a year ago he wouldn't have thought he'd be working in Kansas to help a Republican facing a tight race.

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Government
6:10 am
Fri October 10, 2014

ACLU To Challenge KS Same Sex Marriage Ban

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas appears to be close to filing a lawsuit aimed at overturning the Kansas' ban on same sex marriage. Stephen Koranda reports:

Johnson County, Kansas, has attracted a lot of attention after a judge there ordered workers to begin issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples.

But Doug Bonney, with the ACLU of Kansas, says it doesn't look like other counties are following suit.

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Politics
12:09 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Orman Unveils Plan To Boost Small Business

Independent U.S. Senate candidate Greg Orman has unveiled a plan to boost small business. Orman released the details of the proposal Friday, as he toured to meet with Kansas entrepreneurs. Stephen Koranda reports.

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Politics
11:52 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Role Of Democratic Party Unclear For KS Senate Race

Democrats no longer have a candidate for a U.S Senate race in Kansas after Chad Taylor dropped out. Now, it's not clear what role, if any, the state Democratic Party will take in the campaign. Stephen Koranda reports.

There's no love lost between Republican Senator Pat Roberts and the leaders in the Kansas Democratic party. But that doesn't mean top-ranking Democrats are throwing their support behind independent candidate Greg Orman. Joan Wagnon is the chair of the Kansas Democratic Party.

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Government
8:03 am
Fri October 3, 2014

Former Lawmaker: FBI Investigating KanCare Contracts

There have been reports around the Kansas Statehouse that there is an FBI investigation into how contracts were awarded for KanCare, the state's privately managed Medicaid program. As KPR's Stephen Koranda reports, someone has now come forward to say the investigation exists.

Former Republican Kansas state Senator Dick Kelsey says the FBI contacted him and interviewed him several times. He says a focus of the investigation is David Kensinger, a former chief of staff to Governor Brownback.

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