Kansas Lawmakers have passed the halfway point in the 2015 session without unveiling a proposal to rewrite the state’s school funding formula. Governor Sam Brownback has proposed an overhaul, but first he says lawmakers should freeze spending and issue block grants to schools. As Stephen Koranda reports, a proposal could be coming soon.
Governor Brownback and some Republicans have been unhappy with unexpected cost increases for Kansas education. A block grant proposal would give them time to write a new plan while keeping funding steady.
Lawmakers are taking a long weekend after working hard last week to beat a legislative deadline known as "turnaround." As Stephen Koranda reports, when they return on Wednesday, they’ll have fewer issues to consider.
Most bills had to have passed one chamber in the Kansas Legislature by the end of last week or they are dead for the session. That means many bills are done for this year. But, bills from certain legislative committees are exempt, for example budget bills remain alive and well.
The Kansas Senate has advanced a bill that would move local elections from the spring to the fall of odd-numbered years. The bill is a compromise that is aimed at balancing efforts to increase voter turnout against objections from local governments. Stephen Koranda reports.
Republican Senator Mitch Holmes says the goal is to get more people voting by moving the Kansas local elections to the traditional voting season in the fall.
The Kansas House has advanced a bill that would bar political candidates from removing themselves from the ballot after the filing deadline. Currently, candidates can declare they can’t serve in office and have their name taking off the ballot before an election.
Republican Representative Mark Kahrs repeatedly referenced Democrat Chad Taylor dropping out of the U.S. Senate race last year.
A Kansas House committee has approved legislation that would let convenience stores sell full-strength beer. It would also allow grocery stores to sell beer, wine and liquor. Stephen Koranda reports on the proposed changes, which would take effect in 2018.
Republican Representative Scott Schwab says this change will be convenient for Kansas consumers. He says in his family, his wife doesn’t want to go to a liquor store while out shopping.
Two Kansas Lawmakers are defending a bill that would bar university professors from using their professional titles when writing newspaper columns.
Republican Representatives Virgil Peck and Joe Seiwert spoke in favor of the bill before a House committee. Both say they have been unfairly covered by the media and criticized following introduction of the legislation.