Government

Government
10:15 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Gov. Brownback Signs Bill That Cuts Unemployment Taxes For Employers

Governor Brownback has signed a bill on Tuesday that he says will save Kansas employers about $42 million dollars.

It adjusts employers’ payments to the fund that pays benefits to unemployed workers.

His office says the bill will lower payments for about 44,000 businesses. Employers who’ve paid more into the fund than their workers have received in benefits will see a 15 percent cut in rates.

The bill also provides a discounted rate to non-construction employers who open businesses in Kansas.

Government
10:01 am
Wed April 9, 2014

New Federal Trial Set To Hear Arguments Over Kobach's Voter Citizenship Law

A federal trial has been scheduled in a lawsuit challenging a new state law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls.

U.S. Magistrate Gerald Rushfelt in Kansas City set a schedule this week for hearing the lawsuit.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is being sued by northeast Kansas residents Arthur Spry and Charles Hamner.

Both live in a retirement home in Overbrook.

The suit says neither man had a driver’s license, computer or access to the birth records needed to secure a photo ID.

Government
5:22 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Kansas Senate: Remove Common Core Standards To Free Up Funding

The Kansas Senate Floor
Credit Stephen Koranda

In the early hours of Friday morning, the Kansas Senate passed a school finance bill.

Its purpose is to address the March ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court that public schools in the state are not being funded equitably.

In a 23 - 17 decision, legislators approved what could amount to $80 million in new funding for public schools throughout the state.

In order to fill that purse, the plan looks to increase local taxes and cut costs in certain areas, such as the education of at-risk students and school transportation.

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Renewable Energy
5:14 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

House Rejects Bill to Repeal Renewable Standards

The Kansas House has rejected a bill to repeal the state's renewable energy standards by a vote of 44-77.

The standards require 20 percent of Kansas power generation to come from renewable sources by 2020.

Supporters of the requirement say it has driven economic growth through the wind industry.

Opponents of the standards argue wind energy needs to compete on its own merits without state support.

Government
11:39 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Gov. Brownback Signs A New Round Of Bills This Week

Governor Sam Brownback has signed 5 new bills into law this week.

House Bill 2210 - Prohibits residents from changing their party affiliation in an election year, from the date of the deadline for candidates to file for office in June through the certification of the results of the August Primary Election.

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Government
11:11 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Gov. Brownback To Decide Fate Of Voter Affiliation Bill

Gov. Sam Brownback has until March 31 to decide the fate of the Kansas GOP's plan to make it harder for voters to switch parties before primary elections.

The Legislature delivered a bill containing the plan to Brownback on Friday. He has 10 days under the state Constitution to sign the measure, to veto it or let it become law without his signature.

The bill prohibits voters registered with a political party from switching their affiliation between the June 1 candidate filing deadline until after results from the August party primaries are certified.

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Government
8:09 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

U.S. District Court Ruling Allows States To Require Proof Of Citizenship On Federal Voting Forms

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren ruled that federal voter registration forms may be be modified to reflect the state forms.
Credit Celeste Lindell, flickr Creative Commons

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren ruled Wednesday afternoon that federal voter registration forms in both Kansas and Arizona will be modified to reflect the state forms.

Judge Melgren answered one key question with today’s decision: that it’s ultimately a state’s right to determine what is on their federal voter registration forms, and not that of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

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Government
10:30 am
Wed March 19, 2014

City Council Approves New Hotel Tax To Promote Tourism

Wichita's City Council voted 7-0 yesterday to approve a new hotel tax to finance efforts to promote tourism and attract large events.

The 2.75 percent tax will apply for guests at hotels with more than 50 rooms.

The levy is expected to generate about 2 1/2- to- 3 million dollars a year.

The Council also approved the establishment of a tourism business improvement district yesterday.

Wichita officials say current promotional funding was growing slowly, and the city is facing strong competition from other cities to attract conventions and tourists.

Government
12:35 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Kansas Statehouse May Offer Online Streaming

Credit Stephen Koranda

Right now, there's only audio streaming from the floor of the House and Senate, so you can tune in to hear things like this.

"Further questions on the amendment? Senator from Wilson, Senator Knox. Thank you Mr. Chairman. I rise in opposition to this amendment."

The bills would add live audio and video streaming from four of the most-active committee rooms. Committees are where much of the real work on bills takes place. Representative Reid Petty, a Republican from Liberal, says many people in his district can't take the time for a nearly six-hour drive to the Statehouse.

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Government
10:21 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Former Wichita Bank Executive Deryl Schuster Appointed Bank Commissioner Of Kansas

Governor Sam Brownback has appointed a former Wichita bank executive to serve as the acting bank commissioner in Kansas.

Deryl Schuster succeeds Judi Stork, who will return to her duties as deputy commissioner.

Schuster served most recently as president and CEO of Midwest Community Bank.

The commissioner works with the state Banking Board to regulate state-chartered banks and trust companies, savings and loan companies, mortgage businesses and other financial institutions.

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