Government

Government
10:23 am
Wed March 12, 2014

State Rep. Louis Ruiz Drafts Proposal To Expand Anti-Discrimination Laws

A Kansas House Democrat has drafted a new proposal to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Kansas City Representative Louis Ruiz presented his proposal Tuesday during a meeting of the House Federal and State Affairs Committee. The panel agreed to sponsor it.

Such proposals have failed to pass several times in recent years.

The group Equality Kansas lists expanding anti-discrimination laws to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and the transgendered people against bias in employment, housing and public accommodations is a key goal.

Read more
Courts
3:44 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

House Committee Votes To Cut Court Reporter Jobs

The budget-writing committee in the Kansas House has voted to cut 18 court reporter positions in the judicial branch and eliminate 13 additional unfilled positions.

Representative Pete DeGraaf, a Mulvane Republican, says this would help prompt the judicial branch to find cost savings. He says there's institutional resistance to change.

“Most of them know that this is inevitable and actually best and it’s efficient and probably the thing that needs to happen," DeGraaf says. "But who wants to be the first one to suggest it?”

Read more
Government
10:23 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Senate Committee Will Review Bill Making Local Elections Coincide With State And National Contests

The state Senate Ethics and Elections Committee will review a proposal this week to change the dates of local elections so they fall on the same days as legislative and statewide contests.

The bill on the committee's agenda Wednesday is a modified version of a proposal from the Kansas Republican Party.

The group says the bill will boost voter turnout.

Kansas holds city and school board elections in the spring of odd-numbered years, and turnout is typically low.

Read more
Government
10:27 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Kansas House Approves Bill To Make Affidavits For Search Warrants Public

The Kansas House has approved and sent a bill to the Senate that allows more access to police documents about the reason behind arrests.

The bill also would make affidavits justifying search warrants open to the parties involved.

The bill advanced 113-10 on Thursday, as the House finished work on dozens of bills ahead of the first major legislative deadline of the session.

A tougher fight for the bill is expected in the Senate.

Individuals whose homes are searched would have 30 days to request documentation explaining the reason for the search.

Government
10:12 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Kansas House Rejects State Contract Changes

The Kansas House has rejected a proposal that Democrats say would create more jobs for Kansans.

The amendment would have required companies that get state contracts to mostly employ Kansas workers.

Representative Annie Tietze introduced the plan during debate on a bill.

"We talk about the American dream and we want to grow businesses,  but these peoples need jobs first," she says.

Representative Marvin Kleeb says the measure could lead to other states passing similar rules, and that could hurt Kansas businesses.

Read more
Kansas House
5:51 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Health Care Compact Bill Advances In House

A House committee has advanced a bill aimed at exempting Kansas from the federal health care overhaul.

State Representative Brett Hildabrand, a Shawnee Republican, said that if the bill ends up passing, it could move Kansas towards gaining more control over federal health care programs.

“The broad federal approach tries to apply a cookie-cutter approach to every state. I believe that’s too broad and we need to put it back at the state level,” Hildabrand said.

Read more
Kansas Senate
5:39 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Senate Advances No Call Expansion

The Kansas Senate has given first-round approval to a bill adding cellphone numbers to the state's no call law for telephone solicitors.

Read more
Government
10:21 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Wichita Rep. Gail Finney Responds To Concerns Regarding 'Spanking Bill'

Due to the overwhelming response regarding proposed legislation clarifying corporal discipline, Representative Gail Finney of Wichita has released a statement to clarify her proposed bill.

Finney says while parental corporal discipline in Kansas has always been permitted in the state, it's never been defined in Kansas statute.

This omission has left the interpretation to administrative officials in the executive branch, law enforcement personnel, and the judicial branch.

Read more
Government
10:50 am
Tue February 18, 2014

'Religious Freedom Bill' Faces Uncertain Future In Kansas Legislature

A bill that supporters say will preserve religious freedom now faces an uncertain future in the Kansas legislature.

Bill Proponents say it will protect individuals, businesses and religious groups from being involved in same-sex marriage ceremonies for religious reasons. Opponents say it's so broadly written that it offers legal protection for discrimination. The bill passed the Kansas House last week.

House Speaker Ray Merrick says that he would not put the bill up for a vote again if he could do it over. Merrick says the House will work with the Senate to amend the bill.

Read more
Kansas Legislature
4:36 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

House Will Work With Senate On Same-Sex Marriage Bill

House Speaker Ray Merrick says if he had to do it over again, he would not have brought a controversial religious freedom bill up for a vote.

The bill would allow businesses, individuals and religious groups to refuse service or employment benefits to same-sex couples on religious grounds.

Critics of the legislation say it will allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Read more

Pages