Stephen Koranda

Stephen is the statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio.

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Kansas Corporation Commission
5:11 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

KCC Chairman Resigns

The chairman of the Kansas Corporation Commission has announced he will resign. Mark Sievers has chaired the regulatory board since 2011.

The KCC regulates utilities including electricity, natural gas and telecommunications.

The organization has recently been involved in some controversies. A month ago, a Shawnee County judge fined the agency for violating the state's open meetings act by using a system in which some proposals were approved behind closed doors.

Disability Services
3:57 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

National Council On Disability Studies Kansas Policies

A federal board that studies disability issues has been meeting in Topeka.

The National Council on Disability advises Congress and the president on matters affecting Americans with disabilities.

Gary Blumenthal is a member of the council and a former Kansas legislator. He says the group chose to meet in Kansas because of policies affecting people with disabilities, like the state's overhauled Medicaid program now managed by private companies.

U.S. Congress
4:34 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Roberts Wants Farm Bill Talks to Resume

Republican Kansas Senator Pat Roberts says he isn't satisfied with the pace of negotiations on the farm bill.

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Security
4:10 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Audit Finds IT Security Traded for State Worker Convenience

An audit has found some state of Kansas agencies lacking when it comes to Internet technology security.

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Security
3:27 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Audit Focuses On State IT Security

A select group of Kansas lawmakers will be given an update on the state's Internet technology security Tuesday.

State auditors have been combing through security protocols for nine state agencies looking for problems.

Scott Frank, with the Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit, says this is important because the state handles sensitive personal information.

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Education Funding
3:52 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Education Debate May Shift To Pension Costs

The debate over school funding in Kansas may be shifting to focus more on employee pension costs.

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Education
4:40 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Brownback Hosts Closed-Door Education Meeting

Governor Sam Brownback met with education officials and some top Republican lawmakers Monday to talk about school finance.

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Energy
9:03 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Wind Energy Tax Credit Divides KS Lawmakers

Wind energy tax credits help make wind power more affordable, and have boosted the industry in states like Kansas. But those credits are set to expire at the end of the year, and lawmakers from Kansas disagree on what should be done.

Wichita Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo said last week that the federal government supporting wind energy with tax credits is an intrusion into the economy. Pompeo says opposition is growing and he's arguing to let the credit expire.

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Government
8:02 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Statehouse Renovation Drawing To A Close

Statehouse renovation expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2013.
Credit Stephen Koranda

A project that has taken more than a decade and cost $300 million is drawing to a close. The renovation of the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka should be mostly finished next month. A state panel heard one of the final updates on the project Tuesday.

The project is in the home stretch, but the Statehouse grounds are very much still an active construction site. There's scaffolding on the building, fences block off large sections and construction equipment rumbles around the property.

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Energy
7:22 am
Mon November 18, 2013

KCC Commissioner's Comments Cause Disagreement

The Kansas Corporation Commission and an agency that represents utility customers have been butting heads over comments made by a KCC commissioner. The disagreement is over what the commissioner said about how the KCC decides rate increases for utility customers.

In a filing recently, KCC Chair Mark Sievers endorsed a process that uses a formula to decide future rate increases. The more common process is where advocates for utility customers and the utility make arguments before the KCC, and then the KCC decides on the amount of the increase.

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