Bryan Thompson

Kansas lawmakers are considering how to defend the state against cyberattacks or data theft. One possible change would consolidate all the state’s IT security into one agency. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, a state panel held a closed-door meeting on security issues this week.

Rep. Brett Hildabrand says consolidating the services will likely mean a cost savings. He says it could also create a consistent standard for IT security in Kansas agencies.

Stephen Koranda

Attorneys for the state say it’s up to lawmakers and the governor to decide if Kansas is spending enough money on education. They made that argument in a filing before the Kansas Supreme Court. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, at issue is whether the Kansas is spending enough to satisfy the state’s Constitution.

Kari Bruffett, secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, has announced plans to resign at the end of the year.

Gov. Sam Brownback said Monday in a release that Bruffett's resignation is effective December 31. Bruffett was named KDADS secretary in May 2014. She previously had been director of the Health Care Finance division of the state Department of Health and Environment.

Bruffett is leaving her position leading KDADS to join the Kansas Health Institute as director of policy.

The recent arrest of a Topeka couple on child abuse charges is raising questions about a custody battle that some say illustrates a pattern of discrimination against gays seeking to adopt.

The 2014 custody case pitted a same-sex couple from Wichita against Jonathan and Allison Schumm, the Topeka couple now facing child abuse charges. Jonathan Schumm is a member of the Topeka City Council.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett has blocked a recall effort against a county commissioner who has refused to accept millions of dollars in grants for local health programs.

Bennett announced Monday that the petition for an election seeking the recall of Sedgwick County Commission Chairman Richard Ranzau does not meet the narrow grounds prescribed by state law.

Dave Ranney / Heartland Health Monitor

Two of the four Kansas lawmakers recently relieved of their health committee assignments are pushing back. They say their removal won’t stop the debate on Medicaid expansion. 

Republican House Speaker Ray Merrick ousted Reps. Don Hill of Emporia and Susan Concannon of Beloit from the Health and Human Services Committee because they supported Medicaid expansion.

Stephen Koranda

A bill before the Kansas Legislature is aimed at avoiding conflicts of interest on local school boards. But as KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, it could make nearly half of current school board members ineligible for their jobs.

To avoid conflicts of interest, the bill would bar anyone from serving on a school board if a family member works for a school district.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Nearly 8000 motorists in Wichita have had their driver’s licenses suspended this year. Many of them find it difficult to pay the fines to be reinstated. Residents will get a second chance to resolve traffic obligations next month through a new amnesty program offered by the city.

Sean Sandefur file photo

A survey released today found that Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has the lowest job approval rating in the nation.

Between May and November, more than 75,000 registered voters across all 50 states were asked whether they approve or disapprove of their governor's job performance. Of those surveyed in Kansas, only 26 percent said they approve of Brownback's leadership. Brownback has been criticized for problems with the state's budget as well as cuts in education funding.

Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce

The Wichita Chamber has added Medicaid expansion to its list of legislative priorities. But as Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean reports, there are conditions attached to that support.

The board of the Wichita Chamber of Commerce has voted to support expanding Kansas’ privatized Medicaid program--known as KanCare--so that it covers more poor adults.

But that support is conditioned on two things: