Government

So far this month, eastern Kansas foster care contractor KVC Kansas hasn’t had any kids sleep in its offices. St. Francis, the contractor for the rest of the state, has had four kids overnight, according to the latest update from the state child welfare agency.

In recent months, each of those contractors logged dozens of overnight stays per month.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Kansas has joined a multistate lawsuit challenging the legality of an immigration program that grants temporary legal status to immigrants without proper documents who came to the U.S. as children.

The program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, was established by former President Barack Obama in 2012. About 7,000 people in Kansas have obtained work permits under DACA.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Monday he joined the lawsuit last week at the request of Gov. Jeff Colyer.

Adrian Jones. Evan Brewer. Conner Hawes. Lucas Hernandez.

News coverage of those children’s deaths and others under the state’s watch galvanized public outrage over the past three years and drew more scrutiny to the troubled child welfare system in Kansas.

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The Sedgwick County Commission voted Wednesday to once again restrict the use of electronic cigarettes in county buildings.

Commissioners voted 3-2 to reverse an earlier policy that allowed county employees to vape at work. Now, e-cigarettes will be treated the same as regular cigarettes: No smoking indoors, or within 25 feet of a building entrance.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Nearly a year after deciding to spend $4 million for a new pool in District 1, Wichita city leaders are still unsure where to build it.

The City Council voted Tuesday to postpone the issue indefinitely until more information -- particularly about how to pay for the pool -- is presented.

Children entering the Kansas foster care system will soon have a new short-term place to stay in Kansas City.

With kids sleeping in their offices several nights a month, KVC Kansas, one of the state’s two foster care contractors, has been looking to open some sort of crisis center for the past year.

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Two environmental groups will be allowed to intervene in a rate case involving Westar, which wants to impose higher fees on customers who install solar panels on their homes.

The Kansas Corporation Commission on Thursday said the Sierra Club and a group called Vote Solar may intervene in the case but must consolidate their testimony and evidence. They also cannot submit repetitive testimony or briefs.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

Sedgwick County commissioners delayed making a decision Wednesday about the future location of a new county administration building.

The county plans to move departments out of the current courthouse to free up space for the district attorney’s office and the court system.

The commissioners discussed the three options they are considering. Those include buying and renovating the Riverview building, near Second and Waco, or a downtown building on North Main. The third option is constructing a new building next to the Sedgwick County Courthouse.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

The state is reporting that it collected $108 million more than expected in May to give the state a full year's worth of monthly revenue surpluses.

The state Department of Revenue on Friday attributed the surge's size to last-minute income tax payments in mid-April not being processed until early May. But Kansas hasn't seen a 12-month streak of better-than-expected tax collections since at least January 1989.

The state collected $555 million in taxes last month when it projected $447 million. The surplus was 24.1 percent.

The Kansas child welfare agency is splitting foster care from family preservation services.

The Department for Children and Families put out its call for separate grantees Thursday.

The state’s two current contractors — KVC Kansas in the Kansas City metro and eastern region, and St. Francis Community Services in Wichita and the western region — have been managing foster care and services aimed at keeping struggling families together.

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