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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Gov. Jeff Colyer has made it a point to say he will not accept harassment and discrimination in his administration, but he won’t say if he’ll reinstate an executive order that would bar discrimination against LGBT state workers.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

Gov. Jeff Colyer is creating a task force to study ways to fight drug abuse in Kansas through prevention and treatment. He signed an executive order Thursday bringing together the heads of 16 state agencies, as well as medical professionals and law enforcement.

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Officials with the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services said Thursday that a staff member improperly disclosed personal information for 11,000 people in an email sent to multiple addresses.

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A bill in the Kansas House would require children convicted of sexually violent crimes to register as sex offenders for life. That’s the same penalty adults face.

Under current law, juvenile offenders over 14 can be required to register as a sex offender for serious crimes. However, in many cases, juvenile offenders are not required to register for the public offender list.

The bill was prompted by a double murder in Newton. The victims were 24-year-old Alyssa Runyon and her 4-year-old daughter.

Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas lawmakers return to the Statehouse on Wednesday still facing the largest challenge of this year’s session: balancing the budget and responding to a court order to spend more on schools.

In recent years, though, lawmakers plucked the low-hanging fruit when it comes to finding cash. That makes any revenue harvest ahead that much more difficult.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

The Kansas House has voted to toughen penalties for so-called swatting pranks that use false police reports to draw law enforcement to an address.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas lawmakers have forged a compromise to allow more access to video from police body cameras and vehicles.

Legislation debated in the Kansas House Wednesday followed recent shootings by police in the state.

The bill says people in the videos or their families must be given access to the recordings within 20 days.

In the past, it could take months for families to see a video and find out what happened in a fatal police shooting.

Republican Rep. Blaine Finch said this plan would give families a definite timeline.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

After several teenagers -- some not even from the state -- decided to run for Kansas governor, members of the House voted Tuesday to tighten requirements to run for statewide office. 

Candidates would have to be at least 18 years old and live in Kansas. Lawmakers debated whether to apply the rules to the 2018 election, but decided against that approach.

Republican Rep. Tom Cox says it sets a dangerous precedent to change the rules part way through an election cycle.

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Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee say Kansans wrongly convicted of crimes deserve to be compensated by the state. The panel amended and advanced a bill Monday that would do that using more than just cash.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

If you’re released from prison in some states after a wrongful conviction, you could be owed millions of dollars or a promise of a college education.

In Kansas and 17 other states, you get nothing.

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