Stephen Koranda

Stephen is the statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio.

Pages

Health
10:52 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Trials Begin at University of Kansas Stem Cell Center

The Kansas Legislature created a new adult stem cell therapy facility at the University of Kansas Medical Center less than a year ago.

Officials with the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center told a legislative committee on Monday that they've started clinical trials.

Dr. Buddha Dawn says work has begun on a trial aimed at treating blood flow problems in the feet and legs.

There are also planned trials on new ways to treat cancer and heart problems.

"So these trials would help local patients to get access to adult stem cell therapy through our center," Dawn said.

Read more
Education
10:34 am
Mon March 10, 2014

State Lawmakers Resume Talks Over Education Funding

State lawmakers are resuming their talks about education funding.

A Kansas Supreme Court ruling last week said the state has created inequalities between schools districts and that lawmakers violated the Kansas Constitution by cutting funds that help equalize school district budgets.

The group that filed that lawsuit, and some lawmakers, say the solution is to restore more than $100 million dollars in education funds.

Democratic House Representative and governor candidate Paul Davis says Kansas has fallen short.

Read more
Education Funding
3:56 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Court: Schools Unconstitutionally Unequal

The Kansas Supreme Court says the state has created unconstitutional inequalities between school districts by cutting state funds.

School districts and parents filed a lawsuit asking the state to increase education funding. The court says lawmakers created inequality when they cut certain education funds during the recession.

Justices say lawmakers must solve the problem by July, and some estimates indicate that a fix could cost more than $100 million.

Joyce Eisenmenger Morrison is with the group Schools for Fair Funding, which filed the lawsuit.

Read more
Kansas Legislature
5:39 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Bill Would Keep People From Changing Political Parties Before Primaries

A Kansas Senate committee is considering a bill that would stop people from switching political parties in the final weeks before a primary election.

Read more
Government
10:12 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Kansas House Rejects State Contract Changes

The Kansas House has rejected a proposal that Democrats say would create more jobs for Kansans.

The amendment would have required companies that get state contracts to mostly employ Kansas workers.

Representative Annie Tietze introduced the plan during debate on a bill.

"We talk about the American dream and we want to grow businesses,  but these peoples need jobs first," she says.

Representative Marvin Kleeb says the measure could lead to other states passing similar rules, and that could hurt Kansas businesses.

Read more
Economy
10:00 am
Mon February 24, 2014

KS House Speaker Ray Merrick Vows To Focus On Economy

Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick says he'll be working to focus the chamber on economic issues for the rest of the legislative session.

Recently, some controversial bills in the House have caught national attention and criticism.

Merrick says he can't stop members from filing bills, but he can try to get lawmakers back to what he calls the basics.

"Making (Kansas) the most business friendly state in the country and emphasizing that the rest of the session," he says.

Kansas House
5:51 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Health Care Compact Bill Advances In House

A House committee has advanced a bill aimed at exempting Kansas from the federal health care overhaul.

State Representative Brett Hildabrand, a Shawnee Republican, said that if the bill ends up passing, it could move Kansas towards gaining more control over federal health care programs.

“The broad federal approach tries to apply a cookie-cutter approach to every state. I believe that’s too broad and we need to put it back at the state level,” Hildabrand said.

Read more
Government
10:50 am
Tue February 18, 2014

'Religious Freedom Bill' Faces Uncertain Future In Kansas Legislature

A bill that supporters say will preserve religious freedom now faces an uncertain future in the Kansas legislature.

Bill Proponents say it will protect individuals, businesses and religious groups from being involved in same-sex marriage ceremonies for religious reasons. Opponents say it's so broadly written that it offers legal protection for discrimination. The bill passed the Kansas House last week.

House Speaker Ray Merrick says that he would not put the bill up for a vote again if he could do it over. Merrick says the House will work with the Senate to amend the bill.

Read more
Kansas Legislature
4:36 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

House Will Work With Senate On Same-Sex Marriage Bill

House Speaker Ray Merrick says if he had to do it over again, he would not have brought a controversial religious freedom bill up for a vote.

The bill would allow businesses, individuals and religious groups to refuse service or employment benefits to same-sex couples on religious grounds.

Critics of the legislation say it will allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Read more
Government
10:01 am
Thu February 13, 2014

State House Will Soon Consider Bill That Strips Local Governments' Power To Regulate Guns

The full Kansas House could consider a bill soon that voids local government firearm regulations.

A House committee amended and approved the legislation yesterday.

The bill would keep local governments from regulating the open carry of firearms.

Committee members added a provision saying Kansans could carry a loaded gun in their vehicle anywhere in the state, without requiring a concealed weapons permit. Now, local governments can bar keeping a loaded gun on your seat or in your glovebox.

Read more

Pages