Government

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This week, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s office will take comments on a plan to cancel incomplete voter registrations after 90 days.

There’s a public hearing on the proposal Wednesday in Topeka.

Kansas law requires people registering to vote for the first time to provide proof of citizenship. More than 30,000 registrations are currently on hold because they’re lacking the required documents. Marge Ahrens, with the League of Women Voters of Kansas, says the three-month limit might not give people enough time to get the documents.

401(K) 2012, flickr Creative Commons

Kansans who owe back taxes to the state should consider paying them in the next few weeks.

The state is waiving interest and penalties on back taxes, starting Tuesday through Oct. 15.

The amnesty program is available to Kansans who owe individual and business tax debt that accrued before Dec. 31, 2013. The taxes must be repaid in full.

Officials with the Kansas Department of Revenue estimated the tax amnesty program could bring in up to $30 million.

Wichita Police Department / facebook

    

The City of Wichita is asking residents to provide further input on the hiring of the next Wichita Police Department Chief.

Questions for the two finalists in the search for the next chief of police can be submitted through the city’s website. The public will also have a chance to ask the candidates questions tonight at the Wichita Police Chief candidates’ forum at Century II’s Convention Hall.

Marc Nozell, flickr Creative Commons; kslegislature.org

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is trading barbs over social media with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on voting rights.

The spat was sparked by Kobach's proposal to throw out after 90 days names of more than 34,000 potential voters who registered in the state, but didn't provide proof-of-citizenship documents like a birth certificate or naturalization papers.

Clinton's campaign late Monday posted a comment on Twitter calling the plan a "targeted attack on voting rights," including a link to a story from The Associated Press about it.

Joint Task Force Guantanamo, flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Sam Brownback has formally denounced the idea of moving detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Kansas.

Brownback signed a letter, along with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, announcing that the governors “will take any action within our power to make sure no Guantanamo Bay detainees are transferred to Kansas or South Carolina.”

Stephen Koranda file photo

An amnesty program for Kansans behind on their taxes will start next month. The goal is to bring in tax dollars that otherwise the state may not easily collect.

The revenue department has now posted details online and will begin accepting applications Sept. 1.

Kansas Department of Revenue spokeswoman Jeannine Koranda says only tax debt accrued before the end of 2013 is eligible for amnesty.

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The three finalists in the search for the next Wichita police chief were announced Thursday morning.

Lindsay Fox, flickr Creative Commons

The Topeka City Council has voted to ban e-cigarettes in all public places where normal cigarettes are already banned.

The council heard from supporters of a ban, including Mary Jane Hellebust, a former director of the Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition. She told commissioners that it still isn’t known if the vapors from e-cigarettes are safe.

“It is better if we keep these vapors out of the public places until we have decades, literally, of research to show that they are safe. Go back to the old maxim: better safe than sorry,” Hellebust says.

Ty Nigh, flickr Creative Commons

The city of Wichita approved a Capital Improvement Program Tuesday afternoon that accounts for $1.9 billion in potential spending.

The Capital Improvement Program is meant to prioritize city projects for the next decade. While the funding isn’t guaranteed, it’s used as a wish list of sorts for improving Wichita. It includes millions of dollars for parks, water and sewer improvements, bike paths and public safety. But the plan’s main focus is improving streets and highways.

N A I T, flickr Creative Commons

Staffing shortages at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility have resulted in the end of a partnership allowing inmates to train service dogs.

The correctional facility has worked with Canine Assistance Rehabilitation Education and Services, or CARES, since 2009. Since then, 125 inmates have been involved in the basic training of 245 service dogs.

The prison had one full-time officer overseeing the program, but because of an on-going hiring shortage that officer is now in a security job.

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