Stephen Koranda

Statehouse Reporter

Stephen Koranda reports on the Kansas Legislature, state government and everything else for Kansas Public Radio. He previously worked in Mississippi and Iowa, where he covered stories ranging from hurricanes to state executions. 

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Kansas Department of Corrections

Kansas corrections officials hope to have a contract signed before the end of the year to build a new prison in Lansing. The negotiations over that prison contract have been taking place behind closed doors.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Gov. Sam Brownback says his hearing for a job in the Trump administration will take place next week.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

The overhaul of the Kansas computer system for processing welfare and Medicaid applications recently went through its final implementation phase. State officials say the process went smoothly, especially compared to the system's initial rollout that delayed thousands of Medicaid applications.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

State officials are hoping to keep a new Tyson chicken plant in Kansas after the company put on hold plans to build the $300 million facility in Leavenworth County.

Tyson is looking at other locations in Kansas and other states after public outcry and a local decision to back away from promised incentives.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Over the last year, more than 100 Kansas kids placed in the foster care system had to spend the night in offices instead of homes. Kids slept on couches or makeshift beds in the offices of the private organizations that handle foster care placement.

Lawmakers and child advocates heard about the issue during a meeting of a foster care task force in Topeka. Republican Rep. Linda Gallagher is one of the group’s members.

Tristan Bowersox / Flickr Creative Commons

The University of Kansas School of Law is expanding free legal assistance for children brought into this country illegally by their parents. Under a program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), some children have been allowed to remain in the U.S. legally to work and attend school.

While that program is being phased out, some recipients can renew their temporary immigration status before a deadline next month. The KU School of Law will provide free assistance to people seeking a DACA renewal.

Stephen Koranda

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 2:25 p.m. Sept. 18.

The Leavenworth County Commission on Monday morning backed off its support for a controversial chicken processing plant, throwing the future of the massive project into doubt.

The commission voted 2-1 to formally rescind a resolution that would have paved the way for $500 million in bonds to be issued for construction of the Tyson Foods plant near the Leavenworth County town of more than 5,000.

Matt Davis / flickr Creative Commons

Kansas lawmakers from the Leavenworth County area will address questions today about a chicken facility planned for outside Tonganoxie. The proposed $320 million Tyson plant could process more than 1 million chickens per week.

Jen Peak is a Tonganoxie resident who’s opposed to the plan. However, she says the meeting will be helpful for anyone interested in the project, which could include people outside Leavenworth County.

Amazon is planning to open a second headquarters in the U.S., and Kansas officials will be making a pitch for it.

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer told members of the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce that he and other Kansas leaders will make the most aggressive offer they’ve ever made for a company. It’s not yet clear what that could include as far as tax breaks or economic incentives, but according the Lawrence Journal-World, Colyer noted Kansas already has a relationship with the company because of local Amazon shipping centers.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Fellow members of a presidential commission on election integrity pushed back against Republican Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s argument that out-of-state voters may have swayed the outcome of a Senate election in New Hampshire.

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