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 / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Republican lawmakers in the Kansas Legislature have agreed on final language to update the information that doctors must provide to women seeking an abortion. The original proposal had specified that the disclosures be printed in 12-point, Times New Roman type. Now the bill includes a mandate for black ink on white paper.

Kathy Ostrowski, with the group Kansans for Life, said it’s important the information be legible.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Heavy rains flooded several Statehouse offices and displaced some of the researchers that work for Kansas lawmakers. Friday morning, maintenance staff and members of the Kansas Legislative Research Department were cleaning up and sorting through water-damaged books and documents.

Raney Gilliland, director of the department, said a 10-inch pipe that carries rainwater from the roof of the Statehouse failed during a storm.

“With the deluge that we had last night, this collar broke and all of the water from the roof ended up in [our] office,” Gilliland said.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas House and Senate negotiators continue to struggle as they work on a tax plan to help balance the state budget. Thursday, talks stalled on a bill that would fully reverse the tax cuts pushed by Gov. Sam Brownback.

Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas legislative leaders working on a plan to end the 2017 session have what amounts to a chicken-and-egg dilemma.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Business officials lined up Wednesday against a plan to impose sales taxes on certain services. Lawmakers in the Kansas Senate are considering the tax changes to help balance the budget and lower the sales tax on food. Under the bill, which already passed the House, services like towing, some pet care and debt collection would be subject to sales tax.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

The Kansas Senate started debate on a bill that would change the state’s concealed carry laws, but ultimately decided not to vote on the issue and sent the bill back to committee for more work. The plan initially would have banned concealed carry in state health care facilities, but then the discussion was expanded to college campuses.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

President Donald Trump has named Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach as vice chair of a group that will study voter fraud. The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity will be headed by Vice President Mike Pence.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

After several false starts, the Kansas Senate on Wednesday finally debated a tax bill.

But after a brief debate, Democrats and conservative Republicans voted for different reasons to reject the bill.

Two Democrats joined 16 moderate Republicans in voting for the bill, which failed 18-22.

The seven Democrats who voted against the measure said they feared it would not generate sufficient revenue to both balance the state budget and increase funding for public schools by enough to satisfy the Kansas Supreme Court.

Jeff Kubina / flickr Creative Commons

A House committee held a lengthy debate, but ultimately rejected a proposal that could have allowed slot machines to be installed at dog and horse racing tracks in Kansas. It had the potential to revive shuttered facilities in the Wichita, Kansas City and Pittsburg areas.

Supporters of the bill called it a job creator, and said it would boost the horse and dog racing industries in Kansas.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Negotiations on potential tax hikes have slowed in the Kansas Statehouse. Eliminating a budget deficit and writing a new school funding formula are the top issues lawmakers need to finish before ending the session.

Last week, a conference committee pushed out a couple tax bills, but legislative leaders chose not to debate them after support fizzled. This week, the committee hasn’t produced any bills so far.

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