Stephen Koranda

Contributing 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. 

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

A Lawrence man believes Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s office may have purposely mishandled online voting records, and he wants a grand jury to investigate.

Steven Davis is a Democratic candidate for the state Legislature challenging incumbent House member Barbara Ballard. He says he’s heard rumors that some voter registration applications submitted online didn’t make it to county election offices, meaning some people weren’t being registered to vote. Davis has submitted a petition calling for a grand jury to consider if Kobach’s office committed election fraud.

Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

An audit says the Kansas Department for Children and Families hasn’t done enough to ensure the safety of kids in foster care. The report led to calls for the head of the agency to step down.

From the KHI News Service:

Kansas Department for Children and Families Secretary Phyllis Gilmore brushed off two Democrats’ calls for her resignation and defended her agency Wednesday following an audit critical of its oversight of the state’s foster care system.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

There’s a legal challenge underway to a new state regulation that would throw out some votes cast by thousands of Kansans. It affects people who registered to vote at the DMV but didn’t turn in a citizenship document required under Kansas law.

The rule says nearly 20,000 Kansans with a suspended voter registration would be allowed to cast ballots, but only their votes in federal races would be counted.

Stephen Koranda

The State Election Board on Monday decided that an Osage County woman is a citizen and will be able to vote, despite the fact that she doesn’t have a document proving it.

Kansas law requires people registering to vote for the first time in the state to prove their U.S. citizenship with a document such as a birth certificate.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

A new survey from Fort Hays State University shows Gov. Sam Brownback and the state Legislature are still unpopular with many Kansans, while the congressional race in the 1st District is a dead heat.

Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas Legislature continue to be unpopular, and the primary race in the 1st Congressional District is in a dead heat, according to a new survey from the Fort Hays State University Docking Institute.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

When you’re a Republican, and the governor is a Republican, and the governor has a low approval rating, running for office can be tricky. In a state Senate race in Topeka, both Republicans are trying to keep their distance.

wikipedia.org

Congress has yet to come to an agreement on appropriating money to fund Zika virus research, but that hasn’t stopped Kansas State University researchers from studying the disease.

Scientists at K-State acquired samples of Zika from the CDC. The work has been going on at the Biosecurity Research Institute.

“We certainly hope and believe that we’re moving the knowledge and science forward,” says Biosecurity Research Institute Director Steve Higgs.

He says they’re studying how the virus infects mosquitos and what types of mosquitos can spread the infection.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

The Kansas Bioscience Authority will soon go on the auction block. A state panel Wednesday officially merged the KBA into the Kansas Department of Commerce, the first step in selling off the state-funded investment organization.

Commerce Secretary Antonio Soave says the agency will be taking bids to purchase the organization in the coming months. He says they’re hoping for a buyer with a connection to the state of Kansas.

Kansas Bioscience Authority

The planned sale of the Kansas Bioscience Authority could advance this week. As Stephen Koranda reports, the State Finance Council will work on the issue Wednesday.

The Finance Council will consider merging the Bioscience Authority into the Kansas Department of Commerce. That has to happen before the state can sell off the assets of the organization.

U.S. Dept. of Justice [Public domain] / Wikimedia Commons

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has been helping craft the party platform at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The GOP delegate had some significant influence on the document.

The platform is a series of policy idea and goals drafted by party officials that will be presented to the full GOP convention next week.

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