Government

Government
11:15 am
Thu May 15, 2014

New Law Phases Out Fees Kansas Lenders Pay To Counties For Home Mortgages

Governor Brownback has signed legislation phasing out the fees paid by Kansas lenders to counties to register home mortgages. The Kansas Legislature's website said Brownback signed the measure Wednesday. 

Bankers and real estate agents have argued that home buyers are getting what amounts to a tax break. But county officials fear they'll be forced to boost local property taxes to offset what is expected to be $53 million in lost revenue over the next five years. The new law will phase out the mortgage registration fee by the year 2019.

Government
12:51 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Kansas And Arizona Ask Appeals Court To Lift Emergency Stay Over Voter Citizenship Laws

Kansas and Arizona say they have a sovereign right to require proof of citizenship for voting residents of their states, even for federal elections.

The two states urged the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday to lift the emergency stay it issued last week.

The appeals court had halted a ruling from U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren, whose ruling required the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to modify its federal voter registration form for Kansas and Arizona residents.

Government
10:45 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Court Of Appeals Temporarily Suspends Kansas' Voter Citizenship Law

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has temporarily suspended an order requiring Kansas and Arizona residents to provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote with a national form.

The federal appeals court granted the emergency request by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and voting rights groups.

Yesterday’s decision means Kansas and Arizona voters can continue to register to vote using the federal form without having to document their citizenship.

Read more
Government
10:29 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Kansas State Objections Board Considers Allegations Over Senator Pat Robert's Residency

The State Objections Board will meet Monday to consider allegations that U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts is not truly a Kansas resident and shouldn’t be allowed to seek re-election.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach scheduled the board meeting after four citizens filed objections to listing the three-term senator on the August 5th Republican primary ballot.

GOP tea party challenger Milton Wolf contends that Roberts lives in Alexandria, Virginia, where the senator owns a home.

Roberts and his wife own a duplex unit in Dodge City but rent it out.

Government
10:14 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Gov. Brownback Signs Bill Tweaking Workers Comp In Kansas

Brownback during the ceremonial signing of the workers compensation bill.
Credit Stephen Koranda

    

Governor Sam Brownback has signed into law a bill allowing more workers compensation claims for firefighters and law enforcement officers.

More than 40 years ago, Kansas rewrote workers compensation laws. Part of that created a rule that said a worker couldn't collect workers comp for heart attacks or strokes related to their job unless it was caused by an unusually high level of exertion that isn't normally required for the job. 

Governor Brownback says that had an unintended consequence for some workers.

Read more
Government
10:03 am
Thu May 8, 2014

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren Refuses To Stay Order Over Voter Citizenship Laws

On Wednesday, a federal judge in Wichita refused stay his order for federal election officials to immediately enforce Kansas and Arizona laws requiring new voters to document their U.S. citizenship.

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren denied the requests from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and voting rights groups to stay his ruling while the case goes to the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Melgren ordered the commission to proceed without delay on his March directive to immediately modify its national voter registration form.

Read more
Government
11:36 am
Fri May 2, 2014

State Workers Could Receive Bonus Under New Budget Deal

State lawmakers have drafted a budget deal that includes a bonus for state workers.

Three senators and three House members agreed Thursday on budget legislation. They shook a gloomy state revenue report and ignored that the state’s bond rating has been downgraded by Moody’s Investor Services.

The proposal now includes $11 million dollars to give the state’s nearly 38,000 state employees a one-time, $250 bonus.

The budget agreement also preserves guaranteed longevity bonuses for employees with at least 10 years in state government.

Government
11:49 am
Thu May 1, 2014

KS Among Red States Resisting Federal Authority

Credit Bryan Thompson

Kansas politicians have always been able to score points at the coffee shop by taking jabs at the federal government. But in today's divided America, politicians in red states like Kansas are finding that sometimes the best way to connect with voters is to advocate outright defiance of federal authority.

For more on this issue, visit our public television partners at KCPT.

Read more
Government
10:44 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Kansas Lawmakers Begin Work On Spending Agreement

Kansas House and Senate budget negotiators have begun working on a spending agreement; they’ve also cast aside a bleak revenue report that could undermine a rosier economic forecast leaders are using to justify higher spending.

The talks started last night, just a few hours after the state Revenue Department reported that April’s tax collections totaled $92 million dollars less than expected.

State officials blamed changes in the federal tax code on capital gains and other income.

Read more
Government
11:25 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Legislative Oversight Committee To Review KanCare System

A Kansas legislative oversight committee is holding a daylong hearing to review the state’s KanCare system that provides Medicaid to poor, elderly and disabled Kansans.

The committee meeting this morning includes a discussion of the state’s waiting lists for people seeking home and community-based services, as well as recent estimates for demand for those services over the next 18 months.

Kansas privatized the program in 2013 to reduce the growth of health care costs, which are shared by state and federal sources.

Pages