Government

Hugo Phan / KMUW

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says he's improving the voter registration process at motor vehicle offices. On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered that thousands of people be added to the state’s voter rolls, even though they supposedly didn't provide citizenship documents while registering to vote at DMV locations.

PHIL CAUTHON, KHI NEWS SERVICE

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback this week signed bills that prevent privatizing troubled state mental hospitals unless lawmakers approve. There have been staff shortages and other issues at the Larned and Osawatomie state hospitals.

Tim Keck, interim secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, has said in the past he wants to at least consider the option of privatizing state hospitals. This week, Brownback was asked by a reporter if privatizing the facilities is a long-term solution for the problems.

City of Wichita

The Sedgwick County Commissioners formally approved plans for a new law enforcement training center to be shared with the City of Wichita.

The unanimous vote today meets a deadline in the bid process and clears the way for the project to move forward. The city and county want to build a $9.5 million state-of-the-art training facility on Wichita State University’s Innovation Campus.

The Kansas Board of Regents and other state entities would have to approve any facility built on the WSU campus.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Gov. Sam Brownback is cutting most state agencies 4 percent to balance the Kansas budget for next year.

Lawmakers approved an unbalanced budget that required the governor to make almost $100 million in spending reductions to comply with the state Constitution. Brownback’s budget director, Shawn Sullivan, says the governor exempted some agencies and K-12 schools.

Stephen Koranda, File Photo / KPR

Gov. Sam Brownback has vetoed a bill that included provisions prompted by a multi-million dollar tax dispute with pizza magnate Gene Bicknell.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the bill that Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed on Tuesday was designed to help taxpayers challenge rulings of the Board of Tax Appeals. Under the ruling, taxpayers would be allowed to appeal decisions from the governor-appointed board to district court, where they could present new evidence.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a bill designed to help prosecutors address sexting, the sharing of explicit photos, among teenagers.

The bill was among 17 Brownback signed into law Monday and Tuesday. His office announced the signings on Wednesday.

The measure creates new misdemeanor crimes of transmitting photos of a child ages 12 through 17 and possessing nude photos of a child ages 12 through 15 if the picture is sent by the subject of the photo.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Updated Wednesday, 3:35 p.m.

A federal court says the state of Kansas went too far by requiring people registering to vote at the DMV to prove their citizenship. The document requirement has put thousands of voter registrations on hold.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Members of the Wichita City Council and Sedgwick County Commission met Tuesday morning to discuss the location of a new, shared law enforcement training center. The current facility is housed in a former elementary school, and city officials say the space is too small and outdated.

Axelboldt/Wikipedia public domain

The Kansas Board of Education decided not to vote on Tuesday for a motion condemning new federal guidelines for transgender students. The federal rules say transgender students should be allowed to use a bathroom that matches their gender identity.

Kansas Board of Ed member Ken Willard calls the policies “federal overreach.” The motion would have requested lawmakers and the governor take action to fight the guidelines. Willard says he generally opposes federal rules trumping local control, but he specifically mentioned the transgender guidelines.

KCUR

Among the nearly 334,000 Kansas businesses that owe no state income taxes thanks to the Brownback administration’s 2012 tax cuts is one called BCLT II, LLC.

BCLT II happens to be owned by Bill Self, the legendary University of Kansas men’s basketball head coach.

Under his 2012 contract with KU, Self pulls down a salary of $230,000 a year. But that’s just a small part of his compensation.

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