2018 legislative session

Richard Jones spent 17 years in a Kansas prison for a robbery committed by his doppelganger. When he was exonerated and released last June, he had little to his name other than what had been donated by members of the public who had heard his story.

Harvest Public Media/File photo

This winter we reported that Kansas is one of just four states with the strictest cannabis laws in the country.

But the 2018 legislative session that ended earlier this month shook the state’s legal landscape. So what has changed and what hasn’t?

Stephen Koranda

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer says the state’s government will be more transparent with the new rules for releasing information he signed into law Thursday.

The Trump administration has nixed Kansas’ idea of a three-year lifetime cap on Medicaid benefits.

Gov. Jeff Colyer had wanted to include the limit in a remake of the state’s privatized Medicaid system, KanCare. He also wants work requirements for non-disabled KanCare beneficiaries.

Late last month, he walked back his stance on pursuing a lifetime cap, while sticking by the work proposal. Both ideas had faced criticism from health care advocates who fear they would reduce poor people’s access to doctors and medication.

Kansas News Service

Attorneys for four public school districts suing Kansas are arguing that a new school funding law is as much as $1.5 billion short of providing adequate funding.

The attorneys filed legal arguments Monday with the Kansas Supreme Court against a new state law that phases in a $548 million increase in spending on public schools over five years.

Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt argued Monday that the GOP-controlled Legislature approved a "massive" funding increase.

Michael B. / flickr Creative Commons

(This story has been updated)

The ink is barely dry on a deal to increase school spending by more than half a billion dollars, but Kansas is already headed for a fresh round of legal arguments.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer has signed legislation fixing a flaw in a new public school funding law as the state Supreme Court prepares to consider whether it increases spending enough.

Colyer's office tweeted photos Monday from a signing ceremony at the Olathe public schools' headquarters. The bill ensures that the state phases in a $534 million increase in spending over five years as intended.

Legislators learned before Colyer signed the new funding law in April that it inadvertently shorted schools $80 million.

The Kansas House killed a tax cut bill on its way out the door Friday, ending the 2018 session with yet another signal that this isn’t the same conservative-dominated body of just two years ago.

This is the Legislature that voted last year to expand Medicaid and end then-Gov. Sam Brownback’s signature 2012 tax cuts with a two-year, $1.2 billion tax hike.

The Kansas Legislature has narrowly approved a controversial measure allowing faith-based adoption and foster care agencies in Kansas to be reimbursed by the state for placement services, even if they turn away prospective parents who don’t fit their religious beliefs.

The bill that includes the provisions constituting the “Adoption Protection Act” passed the House shortly before midnight Thursday with the bare minimum 63 votes in favor with 58 against. The Senate followed suit a couple hours later on a 24-15 vote. In a statement, Gov. Jeff Colyer said he would sign it.

Kansas lawmakers voted to inject money into state services, pensions and higher education just hours before debating legislation to send millions of dollars back to taxpayers.

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