Stephen Koranda

Stephen is the statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio.

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2014 Election
4:24 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Shawnee County DA Likely To Challenge Roberts For Senate Seat

Republican Kansas Senator Pat Roberts could have a new challenger in the 2014 U.S. Senate election. Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor is reportedly considering a run for the seat.

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Election 2014
6:35 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Paul Davis Names Jill Docking As Running Mate

Democratic lawmaker Paul Davis has named Wichita businesswoman Jill Docking as his running mate in his bid for governor.

In 1996, Docking ran unsuccessfully against current Gov. Brownback for a U.S. Senate seat.

At a rally in Topeka Tuesday, Docking said her decision to run for lieutenant governor has nothing to do with past political races.

She says reckless tax policies and cuts to public education are threatening Kansas' future.

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Education
6:40 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Lawmakers To Tour University Campuses

A group of Kansas lawmakers will begin visiting college and university campuses this week to talk budget issues. The visits come in the wake of nearly $50 million in budget cuts over two years passed by legislators.

Lawmakers have said they want to talk to university officials about efficiency and how they spend money.

Gov. Sam Brownback, who opposed the funding cuts, says he wants lawmakers to learn more about the role of higher education in Kansas and the impact of the cuts.

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Education
7:40 am
Wed October 16, 2013

School Snack Rules Under Review

The Kansas Board of Education reviewed new federal rules Tuesday on food sales in schools slated to take effect next year.

The healthy snack requirements govern the kinds of food items that can be sold to students during the school day. Kansas already has requirements in place that in many cases meet or exceed the new federal rules.

Cheryl Johnson, the director of child nutrition and wellness at the Kansas Department of Education, told the board that much of the work in Kansas will be creating exemptions for certain activities, such as fundraising bake sales in schools.

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Kansas Department of Agriculture
4:36 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Ag Department Simulation Prompts False Alarm Tweets

An animal disease simulation exercise in central Kansas this week apparently prompted some Twitter users to question whether a real disease outbreak had been detected.

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Courts
7:19 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Justices Mulling Over Education Funding Suit

In the Kansas Supreme Court hearing on school funding this week, justices had some pointed questions for the attorneys.

At issue is whether the state should increase education spending. But how much can we gather about the possible outcome of the case from the questions and comments made by the justices?

Here’s just one example from the oral arguments:

When Justice Eric Rosen pointed out that the state had agreed to increase education funding in a past lawsuit.

“Essentially, it stands before me in my eyes as a broken promise,” said Rosen.

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Education
7:54 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Should All KS Students Take The ACT?

Some state officials are wondering if all Kansas students should be required to take the ACT college readiness exam.

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Government
7:13 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Audit: State Overspent $1.5M In Tax Incentives

A recent audit says the state has mishandled an economic development program. And in response, Gov. Sam Brownback says his administration will look at possible changes.

The Kansas Department of Commerce administers the PEAK program, short for Promoting Employment Across Kansas. It provides tax incentives for companies creating jobs in the state. The audit says the program overspent its $6 million budget for incentives last fiscal year by $1.5 million. Gov. Brownback says his office is studying the report.

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KanCare
5:13 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Colyer Says KanCare Will Achieve Promised Savings

Kansas Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer says the state's new Medicaid managed care program will deliver on its promise to save $1 billion over five years.

Colyer says the three private insurance companies managing the KanCare program will achieve those savings because their bottom lines depend on it.

"And the big stick in this is, we're going to hold back half a billion dollars from the insurers over the next five years," Colyer says.

Criminal Sentencing
4:54 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Special Session Yields Ideas For 2014 Legislation

The recent special legislative session in Kansas could lead to new bills for consideration in 2014.

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