Government

Government
2:09 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Kobach Says He Is Preparing To Prosecute Election Fraud

Credit US Dept. of Justice [Public domain] / Wikimedia Commons

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says his office would immediately begin to prepare election fraud prosecutions if Governor Sam Brownback signs a bill giving him the power to prosecute.

Kobach has sought that authority since taking office in 2011.

The state House approved the bill 67-55, and sent the bill to the governor.

The secretary of state is currently Kansas' chief elections official, but must refer cases to county and federal prosecutors to pursue criminal charges.

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Government
4:29 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Gov. Brownback Says He's Not Drawing Clear Lines On Taxes

Governor Sam Brownback says he will not draw clear lines on what he'll accept from the Kansas Legislature, which is considering rolling back one of his major economic initiatives.

Lawmakers are working to close a projected budget deficit of $406 million dollars for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1st.

The House Taxation Committee was working on a plan to raise the state's sales tax to 6.5 percent from 6.15 percent.

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Government
4:14 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

House Approves Bill Upping Secretary Of State's Power

Credit US Dept. of Justice [Public domain] / Wikimedia Commons

The House has approved a bill that would give Kansas' secretary of state the power to prosecute election fraud.

The chamber's 67-55 vote Thursday sends the measure to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has sought prosecutorial authority on election fraud cases since taking office in 2011. He has also authored state laws requiring voters to present photo ID.

The bill would also stiffen penalties for election fraud crimes and allow organizations to reward voters with gifts worth less than $3.

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Government
5:00 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Wichita Parks Ranked 64th In The Nation

Credit Ty Nigh / flickr Creative Commons

Wichita was ranked 64 on The Trust for Public Land’s 4th Annual ParkScore index, which evaluates park systems in the 75 largest U.S. cities. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson has more…

ParkScore ratings are based on the percentage of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park and the city's median park size. They also take into account park spending per resident with the availability of park amenities like basketball hoops and playgrounds.

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Government
4:56 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Sedgwick County Commission Terminates Funding Agreement With GWEDC

Credit Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition

 

In a 3-2 vote, the Sedgwick County Commission has terminated a five-year funding agreement with Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition. 

The decision won’t affect the $300,000 the county is providing the organization this year, but allows the commission to renew its financial support annually, instead of every five years. Commissioner Tim Norton didn’t support the change, saying that public and private partnerships are key in helping the local economy.

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Government
4:24 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Kansas Strikes Agreement With Credit Reporting Agencies

Kansans who have had problems with credit report errors will get some help as the result of some new reforms. KMUW's Aileen LeBlanc reports...

As a result of a multi-state investigation, Kansas joined 30 other states in an agreement with credit reporting agencies TransUnion, Equifax and Experian to address complaints about credit report errors.

Kansas Attorney General Derrick Schmidt said a consumer's credit report affects every aspect of their lives.

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Government
5:05 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Wichita City Council Votes Against Changing Funding Agreement With GWEDC

Credit City of Wichita

 

The Wichita City Council voted down a proposal on Tuesday to change its funding agreement with the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition. The vote was in response to actions by the Sedgwick County Commission.

Last week, county commissioners discussed a plan to change their funding agreement with the GWEDC, the Sedgwick County Zoo and Exploration Place. The organizations are currently funded in five-year blocks, but some commissioners favor year-to-year agreements to protect against future budget shortfalls. 

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Government
3:47 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Kansas Attorney General Appoints New Civil Litigation Chief

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt
Credit http://ag.ks.gov/

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has picked a former state Bar Association president to lead the division in Schmidt's office that handles civil lawsuits.

Schmidt announced Monday that Dennis Depew has been appointed deputy attorney general.

Depew is from Neodesha in southeast Kansas and has had a private law practice for more than 30 years. He served as the Kansas Bar Association's president in 2013 and 2014.

He also serves on Neodesha's board of education. He was a member of the board from 1985 to 1999 and was re-elected again in 2009.

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Government
3:27 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Kansas Governor, Leaders Meet Amid Work On Tax Proposals

Credit Stephen Koranda

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has met with top GOP leaders as the Kansas Legislature continues its discussions about raising taxes to erase a state budget shortfall.

Brownback had a private session Tuesday morning with Senate President Susan Wagle, House Speaker Ray Merrick and the majority leaders in both chambers.

Their gathering came before the Senate tax committee convened to discuss revenue-raising proposals.

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Government
11:54 am
Mon May 18, 2015

Kansas House Lawmakers Back To Work On Taxes

Credit Stephen Koranda

House lawmakers are going back to the drawing board on Monday after the chamber roundly rejected a tax proposal last week. The bill they rejected would have mostly relied on a sales tax increase to fill a budget hole of more than $400 million. Statehouse reporter Stephen Koranda explains...

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