government

David / Flickr / Creative Commons

The United States Supreme Court decided two landmark cases this past week. One affirmed subsidies for Americans purchasing health care insurance on a federal exchange. In a second case, Obergefell v. Hodges, the court, after refusing to hear earlier cases, declared same-sex marriage to be a right guaranteed under the Constitution, by expanding the penumbra of a constitutional right to gay couples.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Emotions ran high, the political atmosphere was tense, and Governor Brownback reportedly “choked up” in a meeting with legislative leaders before the Kansas legislature ended its 2015 session at 4:00 a.m. on a Friday, when the House passed the largest tax increase in Kansas history.

mlinksva / Public Domain / Creative Commons

The 2015 Kansas state legislative session is winding down.

Critics complain that the legislature was in session too long to accomplish what it did. At the same time, we need to remember that the state legislature is the most important link between Kansans and their state government. It is also the most representative institution of the state.

Sean Sandefur

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's office is working to determine when it would have to inform state workers they would be furloughed if a budget is not passed on time, the governor's spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The Legislature already is in overtime on its 90-day session, with Wednesday being its 97th day, and has yet to pass a balanced budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. Spokeswoman Sara Belfry said the governor's office is working with several agencies to "determine the last possible date" the budget would need to be passed in order to avoid payroll disruptions.

The Kansas Senate has spent today debating a bill that would raise taxes to close a projected budget shortfall.

The work started with Republican Sen. Dennis Pyle moving to kill the tax bill, saying increasing taxes is not the way to fix the state’s budget. He wants lawmakers to look for more budget cuts.

“By not raising taxes, you’re going to empower the private sector," Pyle says. "Or are you going to empower big government, are you going to empower more government consumption?”

kereifsnyder / Flickr / Creative Commons

    

How well are Americans doing with civic literacy?

The results of the 2010 National Assessment of Education Progress, known as the “Nation’s Report Card,” demonstrate that most K-12 students are learning little about civics and history. Only 22 percent of fourth-grade students, 18 percent of eighth-graders, and 13 percent of high school seniors demonstrated proficiency in American history.

Lucas Hayas / Flickr / Creative Commons

Since the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1788, the federal government has been the center of power in this country. However, two recent developments suggest that this may be shifting.

Jonathan McIntosh / Flickr

Living in the age of the internet and social media challenges our right to be left alone. Historically, technological developments rush ahead of legal protections, leaving the Supreme Court to apply 18th century language to a brave new world.

Incoming KS Senate Majority Leader Selects Staff

Jan 8, 2013

Incoming Kansas Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce has filled out his staff with a former congressional intern and an aide to the state House speaker.

Bruce chose Kara Evans to be his legislative director. Evans recently graduated with a bachelor of arts in political science and government from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa. Evans has worked as an intern for Republican U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas and James Inhofe of Oklahoma.

Bruce has also hired Katrina Abraham as his executive assistant. Abraham held the same position for outgoing House Speaker Mike O'Neal.