Government

Government
2:21 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Kansas Attorney General Criticizes Federal Home Health Laws

Credit http://ag.ks.gov/

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says new federal regulations threaten home health care services in Kansas.

Schmidt asked a federal appeals court on Monday to affirm a lower court ruling that blocked new U.S. Department of Labor regulations. In a court brief, Schmidt argued the federal agency overstepped its authority by s requiring overtime pay for home health care workers and reducing the services they can provide.

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Government
11:58 am
Mon April 6, 2015

Uber Urges Brownback To Veto Bill Increasing Regulation

Credit Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures, flickr Creative Commons

The Ride-hailing company Uber says it will be forced to pull out of Kansas if the governor signs a bill increasing regulations on its drivers.

Both chambers passed the bill Thursday.

The Legislature's email server was rendered temporarily inoperable Tuesday by a deluge of protest emails from the company's users, who want Uber to stay in Kansas.

The bill would require some drivers for Uber and other ride-hailing companies to have broader insurance.

It would also require the drivers to undergo background checks through the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

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Government
11:28 am
Mon April 6, 2015

Kansas Lawmaker Concerned About Consequences Of Campus Religious Freedom Bill

Credit Stephen Koranda

A lawmaker in the Kansas House warns that a campus religious freedom bill could attract national attention like the type that has been aimed at Indiana recently. The Kansas bill would bar colleges from taking action against religious student groups that want to exclude people from their organization.

Republican Representative Stephanie Clayton urged her colleagues to vote against the bill in a House committee.

“If we pass this, we might face national backlash. It could have an adverse effect on the Kansas economy,” says Clayton.

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Government
4:20 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

State Lawmakers Encourage A 'No' Vote On Wichita's Marijuana Initiative

Credit Sean Sandefur

A group of state lawmakers are encouraging voters in Wichita to defeat a marijuana initiative appearing on next Tuesdays ballots. KMUWs Sean Sandefur has more...

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Government
3:04 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Committee Begins Investigating Complaint Against Kansas Lawmaker

Rep. Winn (center) before the hearing.
Credit Stephen Koranda

An investigative committee had a brief meeting on Wednesday to begin looking into a complaint filed by Kansas House Republicans against a Democratic colleague. The complaint accuses Representative Valdenia Winn of using inflammatory language during a committee hearing. Stephen Koranda was at the meeting and has this report.

The complaint says Winn, from Kansas City, Kansas, stepped over the line when she said “racist bigots” were supporting a bill that would remove a college tuition break for some students in the country illegally.

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Government
2:58 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Kansas Senate Advances Tighter Rules For Social Services

Credit William Grootonk, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Senate has advanced tighter rules for the state's social services that include a $25-a-day limit on withdrawals with a cash-assistance card from ATMs.

Senators gave first-round approval on a voice vote on Wednesday to a bill that enshrines existing policies from Governor Sam Brownback's administration into law, so they'll be harder to undo.

The policies include a requirement for able-bodied recipients of cash assistance and food stamps to work or seek jobs.

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Government
4:00 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Kansas House Approves Bill To Authorize $1B In Pension Bonds

Credit Stephen Koranda

The Kansas House has narrowly approved a bill Wednesday authorizing $1 billion in bonds to bolster the short-term financial health of the pension system for teachers and government workers. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson has more…

The vote was 63-57 on a compromise drafted by House and Senate negotiators. The Senate expects to vote Thursday on the proposal. Approval then would send the measure to Governor Sam Brownback, who has proposed $1.5 billion in pension bonds.

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Government
11:59 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Kansas Lawmakers Working On Plan To Issue Pension Bonds

Credit Stephen Koranda

Kansas legislators are working Monday on the final version of a bill that would allow state to issue $1 billion dollars or more in bonds to the state pension system.

Lawmakers say the bonds will shore up the short-term financial health of the state pension system for teachers and government workers.

Governor Sam Brownback has proposed issuing $1.5 billion dollars in bonds.

Supporters say the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System will get an immediate infusion of funds and believe the earnings from investing the money will more than cover bond payments.

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Government
11:45 am
Mon March 30, 2015

ACLU Opposing Kansas Bill To Protect Campus Religious Groups

Credit Jimmie, flickr Creative Commons

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas will testify before a state legislative committee on Monday--against a bill designed to protect religious groups on public college campuses.

The House Federal and State Affairs Committee is having a hearing on Senate Bill 175 on Monday. 

The bill would keep state universities, community colleges and technical colleges from refusing to recognize or from denying campus resources to groups that won't let non-believers join their ranks.

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Government
11:37 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Lawmakers Nearing Their Annual Spring Break

Credit Stephen Koranda

Kansas lawmakers are in the final stretch before a spring break. As Stephen Koranda reports, they’ll be busy this week before they leave for nearly a month.

The Kansas Senate has passed its version of a two-year budget and the House could take up a budget this week. Conference committees will also be working to hammer out differences between bills that passed the House and Senate in different forms.

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