Government

Government
12:29 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

KS Republicans And Democrats Find One Thing They Agree On: More Campaign Money

Credit Tracy O, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas Republicans and Democrats can both agree that they want more campaign money.

Representatives of both parties' leadership testified on Monday in favor of a bill before the House Elections Committee that would at least double contribution limits to most state campaigns.

For example, the bill would increase individual contribution limits to $4,000 from $2,000 for gubernatorial candidates and $2,500 from $1,000 for state senators.

Read more
Government
12:35 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

KS Bill Would Allow Carrying Concealed Guns Without A License

Kansas residents would be able to carry a concealed weapon - without a license - under a measure being considered by state lawmakers. Supporters and opponents of the legislation sounded off before a Senate committee.

Currently, Kansans must pass a background check and attend a safety training course before receiving a concealed weapons permit.

The president of the Kansas State Rifle Association, Patricia Stoneking, says residents can already openly carry firearms without a license. She says it makes sense to expand that to concealed carry without a license.

Read more
Government
2:11 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Gov. Brownback Proposes Possible Policy Changes For State Workers

Governor Sam Brownback's administration is proposing to revise hiring, layoff and termination policies for Kansas government workers and to possibly eliminate longevity bonuses for 17,500 employees.

The state Department of Administration described the initiatives to revise state policies yesterday.

One proposal would give state agencies broader authority to hire employees into non-civil service positions rather than keep those jobs in the civil service system. It requires the Legislature's approval.

Read more
Government
2:03 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Kansas Lawyers Speak Out Against Proposed Supreme Court Reform

Kansas lawmakers are considering changing the way state Supreme Court justices are selected, but lawyers say the move would politicize the court.

The House Judicial Committee conducted a hearing Wednesday on two measures that would amend the Kansas Constitution. One change would select Supreme Court justices in partisan elections, while the other would allow the governor to appoint them.

Representatives of three lawyers' associations told panel that either change would weaken the independence of the judiciary.

Read more
Government
1:28 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Kansas Lawmakers Kick Off Hearings on Marriage

Credit Stephen Koranda

A Kansas House committee has started two days of informational hearings on marriage. Lawmakers heard testimony saying marriage improves health, the lives of kids and the state’s bottom line. As Stephen Koranda reports, the hearing could lead to legislation making it more difficult to get divorced.

Republican Representative Steve Brunk says the hearing confirmed his belief that marriage offers real benefits. He says now the question is: should lawmakers take an action to try to keep marriages intact?

Read more
Government
12:13 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

State Lawmakers Agree To Bundling Limit On Bills

Senate negotiators consider an offer duing negotiations on the bundling rules.
Credit Stephen Koranda

A conference committee has softened a limit on the number of bills that can be bundled together in the Kansas Legislature. Bundling is used in the final days of the session to get bills passed in time

But the House passed a limit on the process, saying legislators could only put a maximum of two bills together into one. Stephen Koranda reports on the compromise lawmakers found...

Read more
Government
11:58 am
Mon February 9, 2015

KS Lawmakers Work To Reduce State Prison Population And Costs

Credit Neil Conway, flickr Creative Commons

State lawmakers are trying to reduce the state's prison population and costs, but parallel legislation to toughen penalties could stymie their efforts.

The Kansas Sentencing Commission has submitted bills to the Legislature that would free up 150 beds in state prisons and save $3.6 million dollars.

One measure would keep offenders out of prison on their first two marijuana possession convictions. Another would allow some prisoners to get out of jail earlier for good behavior.

Kansas' prisons are already over capacity and their populations are growing.

Read more
Government
11:41 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Lawmakers Mulling Over $1.5B In Bonds For State Pension System

Credit Stephen Koranda

A Kansas House committee is reviewing Governor Sam Brownback's proposal to issue $1.5 billion dollars in bonds, to help lower the state's annual costs in funding pensions for teachers and government workers.

The House Pensions and Benefits Committee's focus today is on a bill authorizing the bonds if the state would pay interest of 5 percent or less to bondholders.

The Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, or KPERS, has a projected long-term funding gap of $9.8 billion dollars, and the state has committed to raising annual contributions to eliminate it by 2033.

Read more
Government
1:18 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Lawmakers Consider Bill Banning Concealed Weapons In Specific Areas Of Public Buildings

Credit Auraelius, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Senate is considering a bill that would allow officials to ban concealed weapons in some areas of public buildings.

Currently, people carrying concealed weapons must be allowed to go anywhere in public buildings where the guns are allowed.

Legislation submitted by Republican Senator Forrest Knox of Altoona would allow officials to ban weapons from some parts of the buildings.

Read more
Government
5:00 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Kansas Agencies Push Lawmakers To Protect Sexual Assault Victims

Credit Shutterstock

The Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center is among 29 agencies across Kansas pushing for lawmakers to close a loophole that restricts protection for victims across the state. KMUW’s Carla Eckels reports…

A bill introduced by Representative Gail Finney of Wichita would add protection orders for sexual assault victims into the existing Protection from Abuse Act and the Protection from Stalking Act.

Read more

Pages