2017 legislative session

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Some Kansas lawmakers are questioning how much benefit the state is getting for the millions of dollars it has spent over the past 16 years developing retail and tourism districts.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the state has spent more than $557 million in state sales tax revenue to repay Sales Tax and Revenue (STAR) bonds. Those bonds are a financing option in which municipalities issue bonds to pay the cost of roads and other infrastructure in new developments. Those bonds are repaid with new sales tax revenues generated by the projects.

J. Schafer / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Governing Magazine is including two Kansas lawmakers in its list of Public Officials of the Year for 2017.

Governing is honoring nine public officials nationwide, including Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, a Republican, and House Democratic Leader Jim Ward.

The publication – which is widely read in Statehouses across the country – cites their bipartisan work this year on the budget. That culminated in the state raising taxes by reversing many of Gov. Sam Brownback’s 2012 tax cuts.


Starting Saturday, the fine for not wearing a seat belt in Kansas will triple.

Kansas’ current seat belt fine -- $10 -- is one of the lowest in the country. State legislators passed a law this session raising the fine to $30.

401(K) 2012, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Department of Revenue released tax tables on Tuesday that designate how much income employers should withhold from employee paychecks. The policy is the result of the tax increase that was recently passed by state lawmakers.

Andy Marso / Kansas News Service

Democratic state Rep. John Wilson, from Lawrence, said he is stepping down from his seat in the Kansas House later this year. He made the announcement Monday during the final day of the 2017 legislative session.

Wilson has two young children and said he’s had to divide his attention between his legislative duties, his private job and family.

“This is a decision I don’t take lightly. In fact, now is actually a really great time to be in the Legislature. It’s just not a really great time for me, with where I am in my career and my family,” Wilson sasys.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Kansas lawmakers met briefly Monday for the ceremonial end of the legislative session. They considered overriding some vetoes issued by Gov. Sam Brownback, but ultimately took no action.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Republican Senate President Susan Wagle says she’s considering a run for either Kansas governor or for the 4th District congressional seat in the Wichita area.

Kansas News Service/File photo

Gov. Sam Brownback denounced the level of spending in the Kansas budget, but he still chose to sign the bill into law over the weekend.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Gov. Sam Brownback has until Sunday to take action on the Kansas budget approved by lawmakers. His decisions could prompt action on the ceremonial last day of the legislative session.

It’s likely Brownback will sign the budget, but he can block specific items with his line item veto power. Lawmakers also have the power to override those decisions with a two-thirds vote.

Democratic Sen. Anthony Hensley says some line item vetoes could draw override attempts. Those would come on the ceremonial last day of the session, which is Monday.


When evening falls, Brian Hunt makes his way to a comfortable chair in a sunroom on the south side of his house near La Cygne, Kansas. But he’s not settling in to relax. He’s going to work.