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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Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

With gubernatorial candidates competing to lead the charge against corruption, the top Democrat in the Kansas House is pushing a bill that would clamp down on the revolving door in Topeka. ​

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback tendered his resignation Thursday, effective Jan. 31. That same day, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer made the rounds with reporters, outlining his plans for when he takes over.

Stephen Koranda

Most bills considered by the Kansas Legislature are introduced anonymously. House Speaker Ron Ryckman is putting new rules in place so it’s clear where bills are coming from.

Speaker Ryckman said starting now, he’s requiring House committees to record in their minutes the actual author of a bill and whether that’s a lawmaker or a lobbyist. That information should soon be appearing in the online bill directory.

“For me, it’s how do we improve?" Ryckman said. "How do we become more transparent? What can we do administratively? This is something that we can do.”

Kansas News Service/File

Gov. Sam Brownback has moved one step closer to leaving Kansas and taking a job in the Trump administration.

For a second time, a committee in the U.S. Senate has approved his nomination to become ambassador for international religious freedom.

This vote puts Brownback's nomination right back where it had been for several months: awaiting final approval from the full U.S. Senate.

Given the delays, Brownback said this week that he isn’t packing his bags just yet.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback abruptly postponed a meeting Thursday where lawmakers were expected to approve or reject a plan for a private contractor to rebuild the state prison in Lansing. This additional delay in the process raises questions that the proposal may not have enough votes to advance.

A spokesperson for the governor, Kendall Marr, said the delay would allow for more information gathering.

Paul Ryan Twitter

Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole on Wednesday received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor U.S. lawmakers can bestow.

Kansas Department of Corrections

As the push to hire a private contractor to build a new Lansing prison and then lease it to the state increases, some legislative leaders look warily at the idea.

This week, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback stopped at the Lansing Correctional Facility to make yet another push for his administration’s plan to overhaul it. The visit came just days before a panel of lawmakers could decide the fate of his plan for replacing the deteriorating prison.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas lawmakers have decided not to move forward with audits looking into allegations against former Kansas Commerce Secretary Antonio Soave.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Fellow Republicans on Wednesday characterized Gov. Sam Brownback’s spending plan — more than $6.6 billion a year — as a beeline return to deficits and an abdication of responsibility in a budding crisis.

Scott Canon / Kansas News Service

A Kansas Supreme Court ruling saying the state must spend more on schools could require lawmakers to find hundreds of millions of dollars. With some lawmakers saying a tax hike for education remains off the table, that financial hunt won’t be easy.

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