Government

Government
1:25 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Should KS Drop Antique Guns From State Definition of 'Firearms?'

Not everyone's happy with a proposal to drop antique guns from the definition of firearms, as part of a bill to change Kansas' firearms regulations. Assistant attorney general C.W. Klebe discussed the proposed changes Wednesday before a Senate committee.

The changes include new regulations that clarify local governments can't bar concealed-carry license holders from bringing guns into their jurisdictions. It's not clear if this regulation change will apply to out-of-state visitors while they are in Kansas. 

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2013 Legislative Session
6:03 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Proposal Would Change Judicial Selection Process

A proposal to give Kansas governors and lawmakers more power over appointments to the state's appellate courts cleared a legislative committee Wednesday.

The measure would amend the Kansas Constitution to allow governors to appoint whomever they choose to the state Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, subject to Senate confirmation. It would scrap the statewide, attorney-led commission that now screens applications.

Currently, the commission nominates three finalists for the governor, who then makes the appointment without legislative review.

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Government
5:46 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Spring Elections Could Soon Be In The Fall

Credit Ho John Lee / Flickr

A proposal in the Legislature would move the spring local government elections to the fall, so they would coincide with state and national elections. The goal is increasing turnout in local elections, which is sometimes quite low. Secretary of State Kris Kobach discussed the plan with lawmakers Wednesday.

Kobach supports moving the spring elections if lawmakers take additional actions. The problem is that the district maps for the spring elections for local offices do not line up with the state office districts from the fall elections.

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Government
1:48 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Governor Proclaims Wednesday "Armed Forces Appreciation Day" in KS

Gov.  Sam Brownback has proclaimed Wednesday "Armed Forces Appreciation Day" in Kansas.

The governor says it's "a chance to show our deep gratitude for their service and sacrifice--and the sacrifice made by their families. Today we pledge our support for them in peace, in crisis, and in war." 

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Government
1:01 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

KS Governor and AG Propose Human Trafficking Bill

Gov. Sam Brownback and Attorney General Derek Schmidt have proposed a bill that would strengthen the state's human trafficking statues, with an emphasis on protecting children from sexual exploitation. 

The bill they'll submit to the state legislature establishes a Human Trafficking Victim Assistance Fund to support trafficking survivors. Mandatory fines on people convicted of human trafficking and related sex crimes will pay for the fund. The bill also provides for special procedures for children who have been subjected to human trafficking.

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Government
1:19 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Gov. Brownback Wants To Use Highway Dollars For School Busing

Gov. Sam  Brownback would like to use some the state's highway dollars to help cover the cost of bussing children to and from public schools.

Brownback proposed Wednesday that the state divert $193 million normally set aside for highway projects to school transportation programs during the next two fiscal years. The diversion would be almost $97 million each year.

2013 Legislative Session
6:15 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Senate Passes So-Called 'Pay-Go' Budget Rule

The new rule will block some budget amendments introduced on the Senate floor.
Credit Stephen Koranda

  The Kansas Senate has passed a new rule that will make it harder to increase spending in budget bills.

The rule is known as "pay as you go," or "pay-go." It requires any budget amendment added on the Senate floor to be offset with an equal cut in spending. That means once a bill leaves committee, the overall amount of spending can't be increased.

Opponents of the change say it stifles senators, because they can't add spending to the budget for things their constituents would want.

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Government
12:36 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Gov. Brownback Outlines New Education Budget Proposals

Gov. Sam Brownback's new budget proposals would phase in a $76 million increase in aid to public schools over two years.  He would would also use $77 million in revenue from state-owned casinos to help fund teacher pensions. 

City Government
6:19 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Wichita City Council Approves Bonds For Sports Complex

A rendering of the GoodSports Fieldhouse at night.
Courtesy illustration City of Wichita

The Wichita City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve phase one of the STAR Bond project plan that will help establish a multi-sport athletic complex in northeast Wichita.

The 430 acre complex site near K-96 and Greenwich road will serve as an attraction for regional and national youth sports competition. The site plan includes hotels, retailers and an aquatic attraction with a goal of increasing tourism for Wichita and the region.

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Government
6:04 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Gov Proposes More Tax Cuts In 2013 State Of The State

Gov. Sam Brownback during the 2013 State of the State address.
Credit Associated Press

Gov. Sam Brownback has laid out his priorities for the legislative session. During a speech Tuesday night, Brownback made proposals dealing with taxes, the budget and more.

Brownback has proposed keeping a temporary sales tax increase on the books. Most of the 1 percent sales tax increase was set to expire later this year, but it would stay under Brownback’s plan.

Last year, lawmakers passed a cut to personal and business income taxes, and now Brownback is pushing for a further reduction in personal income tax rates, and eventually, eliminating them altogether.

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