Storem / flickr Creative Commons

Sedgwick County Commissioners voted Wednesday to build a gun locker inside the county courthouse for visitors to store their weapons.

Kansas law allows the concealed carry of firearms, but guns aren’t allowed in the Sedgwick County Courthouse--except for by law enforcement.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Legislators in Kansas have some big issues on their plate next year. As Stephen Koranda reports, they’re already planning on a long session.

Kansas lawmakers already know they’ll have to balance the state budget. Add into that the huge issue of writing a new school funding formula.

But that’s not all: The Kansas Supreme Court could issue a ruling that says the state has to increase funding for schools by hundreds of millions of dollars, which would further complicate everything.

Stephen Koranda / KPR, File Photo

We’re almost three months away from the next Kansas Legislative session, and the top Republican in the Senate is already predicting overtime.

There will be a monster agenda facing lawmakers when they return to Topeka in January.

The state is already $60 million in the hole, and that is likely to worsen. So legislators will have to raise taxes, cut budgets or both.

Senate President Susan Wagle is expected to be reelected to the chamber. On KCUR’s podcast Statehouse Blend, she says there’s too much work for the allotted time.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

The president of the Kansas Senate says lawmakers should take a bigger role in crafting the budget.

The governor creates a Kansas budget proposal and delivers it to the Legislature at the start of the session. While the final budget bill is often significantly different, the governor gives legislators a starting point to work from.

Senate President Susan Wagle says lawmakers should do more and write their own budget plan from scratch.


Sedgwick County now has two plumbing codes. The County Commissioners voted in the new regulations on a 4-1 vote.

The Uniform Plumbing Code, or UPC, has been in use in Sedgwick County for more than 40 years. 

Sedgwick County Commissioners voted this week to give plumbers in certain smaller cities another option: the International Plumbing Code, or IPC.

Stephen Koranda

Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle and Republican candidates for that chamber have released a series of policy proposals, which include the possibility of amending tax cuts made in recent years.

The plan includes overarching themes on topics such as balancing the budget, writing a new school funding formula and creating fairness in the tax code.

Wagle is working to harness voter frustration with the Legislature and the budget. She's laying out a message aimed squarely at those Kansans.

A task force appointed by Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback says changes are needed to improve the revenue estimates used to build the state budget. But the top Democrat on the Senate’s budget-writing committee says the recommendations may have more to do with politics.

Retired Wichita advertising executive Sam Williams chaired the task force. He told reporters at a Statehouse news conference that the group’s sole aim was to retool a revenue estimating process that has been increasingly inaccurate in recent years.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

A task force appointed by Gov. Sam Brownback has suggested a series of changes to how Kansas officials estimate future tax collections. Those estimates are used when lawmakers craft the budget.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

One of Wichita’s most famous landmarks is getting some upgrades.

The Keeper of the Plains will undergo several renovations to improve accessibility and safety. The 44-foot steel statue stands at the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers and is the site of a nightly fire show.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

Sedgwick County is looking to hire about 250 people to work the Nov. 8 general election.

With less than six weeks to go before Election Day, it’s crunch time for the Sedgwick County Election Office to get poll workers to sign up.

Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman says they’ve had more cancellations than applications lately.

She says she’s concerned because several polling locations have five openings.