Government

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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Government
10:58 am
Fri May 15, 2015

Kansas Lawmakers Say They've Reached Uber Compromise

A message that greeted Kansas Uber users when Uber pulled out of the state.
Credit KPR

Lawmakers in Kansas have unveiled a compromise with the ride-hailing service Uber that they say will bring the company back to the state. The bill includes background checks and insurance rules for drivers. As Statehouse reporter Stephen Koranda explains, Uber previously pulled out of Kansas.

Republican state Representative Scott Schwab says it is a relief to reach an agreement. “There’s a cult following with Uber that they’ve been able to create,” says Schwab.

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Government
2:42 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Kansas Supreme Court To Decide Legality Of Wichita's Marijuana Ordinance

Credit Katheirne Hitt, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Supreme Court says it will decide the legality of a voter-approved ordinance in Wichita lessening criminal penalties for marijuana possession.

The court ruled Wednesday that it will retain jurisdiction under its authority to hear issues of sufficient public concern.

It kept in place a stay of district court proceedings.

It also noted that Wichita has already agreed that enactment of the ordinance should be put on hold until the courts rule.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt contends the ordinance is void because it conflicts with state law.

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Government
2:29 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Kansas House Committee Advances Sales Tax Increase

Credit Stephen Koranda

There’s a new tax plan headed for debate in the Kansas House. A legislative committee has advanced a proposal that would focus on sales taxes to fill a budget hole of more than $400 million. Statehouse Reporter Stephen Koranda has more.

The bill relies mostly on increasing the Kansas sales tax rate from 6.15 percent to 6.85 percent. It also reduces or eliminates most tax deductions. Republican Representative Kasha Kelley, one of the plan’s authors, would prefer more spending cuts but says sales tax is another option.

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Government
4:49 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Sedgwick Co. Commission Punts Funding Decision To September

Credit Sedgwick County

The Sedgwick County Commission voted on Wendesday morning to delay any changes to the funding agreements with a number of area institutions. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur has more…

Business owners, non-profit leaders and parents came out in droves on Wednesday to testify in support of county-backed institutions, namely Exploration Place and the Sedgwick County Zoo.

Many of them were concerned that funding levels would take a dip when county officials draft a budget in the coming months. Susie Santo of Visit Wichita warned of the impact decreased funding would have to tourism.

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Government
3:47 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

KS Lawmaker: Time Is Running Out To Compromise With Uber

Credit Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas Senator Jeff Longbine says time is running out for ride-hailing company Uber to come to a compromise with the Legislature over regulations.

Republican Sen. Longbine from Emporia said Monday that he and representatives from the insurance and banking sectors continue to negotiate with Uber after it announced May 5 it was leaving the state.

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Government
3:26 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Kansas Legislators Agree To Move Local Elections To Fall In Odd-Numbered Years

Credit Carla Eckels

State lawmakers have agreed to move local elections to the fall in odd-numbered years.

Representatives from the Senate and House came to a compromise on Monday, after each chamber passed different versions of the same elections reform bill earlier in the session.

Republican Representative Mark Kahrs of Wichita says the move would boost turnout to between 30 percent and 40 percent - more than double the turnout in most recent local elections.

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