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

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer has signed his first executive order, which tightens sexual harassment rules for thousands of state workers.

Kansas News Service/File photo

Lowering the Kansas sales tax on food is as popular as it is difficult in a state scrounging for every nickel to balance its budget.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service/File photo

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer steps in as governor of Kansas Wednesday afternoon. His predecessor, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, has been packing up his office in recent days, and is leaving behind a wish list for state lawmakers.

JIM MCLEAN / KANSAS NEWS SERVICE, FILE PHOTO

Kansas has repeatedly dipped into its highway fund in recent years to balance the budget for all of state government.

Now lawmakers are contemplating a task force to study what that’s meant for the state’s roads and bridges.

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.

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

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