Government

Government
2:18 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Brownback Signs Bill Tightening Welfare Rules

Credit Twitter / Sam Brownback

Governor Sam Brownback signed into law a controversial welfare bill on Thursday. It would cut the lifetime limit on cash assistance from 48 months to 36 months.

As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, it also says welfare recipients can’t spend the money at places like movie theaters and swimming pools.

Opponents say the bill stigmatizes low-income Kansans and might limit access to needed benefits. It’s also attracted some national attention. Here’s Jon Stewart on the Daily Show.

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Government
5:39 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell Sworn Into Office

Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell, with wife Susie beside him, is sworn in at Tuesday's Wichita City Council Meeting
Credit City of Wichita

The City of Wichita officially has a new mayor. Jeff Longwell was sworn in at Tuesday’s Wichita City Council meeting after soundly defeating advertising executive Sam Williams in the April 7 elections. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur has more…

It was an emotional day at City Hall, where Carl Brewer, reaching his term limit, stepped down after eight years as Wichita’s mayor.

“Thank you, everyone, for allowing me to serve you,” Brewer said to applause.

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Government
1:59 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Kansas Agency Criticized For Mockery Response

Credit wikipedia.org

  

    

The state Department for Children and Families is catching heat for social media comments that critics say were too partisan.

On its Facebook page Friday, the Kansas DCF accused the left of "mocking the State of Kansas" and said it has "stood in the way of progress."

The post defended restrictions approved by the Legislature in April on how welfare recipients can spend their money.

The Facebook post:

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Government
5:00 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Voter-Approved Marijuana Initiative Fraught With Unknowns

Credit TMartin_33 / Flickr

 

Voters in Wichita have approved a referendum aimed at lessening the penalty for first-time possession of small amounts of marijuana. State law enforces a $2,500 fine and up to one year in jail. The new city ordinance would only impose a $50 fine and no jail time. But it’s not clear whether the city is able to move forward with the change. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports…

On a bright, clear afternoon—just days before the general election—a handful of state officials gathered in front of the Sedgwick County Courthouse in downtown Wichita.

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Government
2:07 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Kansas Legislators Moving Toward Changing Local Elections

Credit League of Women Voters of California LWVC, Flickr Creative Commons

Republican legislators in Kansas are moving to shift city and local school board elections to the fall of even-numbered years.

House and Senate negotiators have drafted a plan to get rid of the traditional scheduling of local elections in the spring of odd-numbered years.

Local elections would be on the same schedule as contests for county, state and congressional offices. Under the bill, city and school board races would be listed first on the ballot.

Supporters say the bill will increase turnout.

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Government
4:36 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Gov. Brownback Signs Nation's First Ban On Abortion Procedure

On Tuesday, Governor Brownback signed into law a ban on a certain type of abortion. Wichita has drawn attention from all sides of the abortion debate since Dr. George Tiller, who performed late-term abortions, was murdered in 2009. KMUW's Aileen LeBlanc reports...

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has signed legislation making Kansas the first state to ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure that critics describe as dismembering a fetus.

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Government
2:21 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Kansas Attorney General Criticizes Federal Home Health Laws

Credit http://ag.ks.gov/

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says new federal regulations threaten home health care services in Kansas.

Schmidt asked a federal appeals court on Monday to affirm a lower court ruling that blocked new U.S. Department of Labor regulations. In a court brief, Schmidt argued the federal agency overstepped its authority by s requiring overtime pay for home health care workers and reducing the services they can provide.

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Government
11:58 am
Mon April 6, 2015

Uber Urges Brownback To Veto Bill Increasing Regulation

Credit Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures, flickr Creative Commons

The Ride-hailing company Uber says it will be forced to pull out of Kansas if the governor signs a bill increasing regulations on its drivers.

Both chambers passed the bill Thursday.

The Legislature's email server was rendered temporarily inoperable Tuesday by a deluge of protest emails from the company's users, who want Uber to stay in Kansas.

The bill would require some drivers for Uber and other ride-hailing companies to have broader insurance.

It would also require the drivers to undergo background checks through the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

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Government
11:28 am
Mon April 6, 2015

Kansas Lawmaker Concerned About Consequences Of Campus Religious Freedom Bill

Credit Stephen Koranda

A lawmaker in the Kansas House warns that a campus religious freedom bill could attract national attention like the type that has been aimed at Indiana recently. The Kansas bill would bar colleges from taking action against religious student groups that want to exclude people from their organization.

Republican Representative Stephanie Clayton urged her colleagues to vote against the bill in a House committee.

“If we pass this, we might face national backlash. It could have an adverse effect on the Kansas economy,” says Clayton.

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Government
4:20 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

State Lawmakers Encourage A 'No' Vote On Wichita's Marijuana Initiative

Credit Sean Sandefur

A group of state lawmakers are encouraging voters in Wichita to defeat a marijuana initiative appearing on next Tuesdays ballots. KMUWs Sean Sandefur has more...

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