Government

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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Government
11:25 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Kansas Representative Uses State Plane To Vote On School Finance Bill

State Representative Virgil Peck
Credit www.kslegislature.org

Representative Virgil Peck of Montgomery County used a state plane to fly from Coffeyville to Topeka and back to vote on the school finance bill.

Peck was the only passenger on the plane from Coffeyville to Topeka on March 13th. He flew to Topeka so he could vote on implementing block grant funding for the state's schools.

Peck went home March 12 to attend events in Coffeyville and Independence with Governor Sam Brownback.

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Government
5:00 am
Thu March 26, 2015

UPDATE: Bill Expanding Concealed Carry Heads To Governors Desk

Credit Auraelius, flickr Creative Commons

Update from AP: 

A proposal to allow Kansas residents to carry concealed firearms without a permit has won final approval from the Legislature.

The measure was headed to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback despite some lawmakers' misgivings about the state dropping its requirement that anyone seeking to carry a concealed firearm undergo at least eight hours of training.

Brownback's office didn't say what his plans are, but he's signed every other major gun-rights measure sent to him since taking office in January 2011.

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Government
4:28 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Non-Profit Leaders Host Mayoral Forum

Mayoral Candidate Jeff Longwell, Non-profit Chamber of Service Executive Director Tim Witsman and Mayoral Candidate Sam Williams speak during a forum at the Wichita Boat House.
Credit Beth Golay

At a Mayoral Forum in Wichita on Wednesday, both candidates fielded several questions, including how to grow the economy and generate jobs. KMUW’s Carla Eckels reports….

At a luncheon filled with non-profit business leaders, Wichita City Council’s Jeff Longwell says it’s incredibly important to try to maintain aviation jobs.

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Government
1:30 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

House Advances Bill To Reduce Civil Service Protections

Credit Stephen Koranda

Two bills that could limit public employee protections advanced in the Kansas Legislature on Tuesday while a strict reform to public employee collective bargaining stalled in the Senate.

The House voted 71-53 to give first-round approval to a bill that would allow state agencies to remove civil service protections for new workers and employees changing positions.

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Government
2:08 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

USDA Official Disagrees With Brownback On Food-Stamp Funding

Governor Sam Brownback and a federal official disagreed publicly on Monday about how food stamp funds ought to be distributed to states.

Their disagreement took place at a Topeka news conference to announce a federal grant.

Heartland Health Monitor's Jim McLean reports...

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Government
1:47 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Brownback Isn't Concerned By Unbalanced Budget Bills In Kansas Legislature

Credit Stephen Koranda

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback says he isn’t concerned by budget bills in the House and Senate that aren’t balanced. The chambers are considering bills that would require a tax increase to keep the state out of the red. That comes after lawmakers cut taxes in recent years. As Stephen Koranda reports, Brownback fielded some questions about the budget at an event in Topeka on Monday.

Brownback does not seem phased by the budget bills. He says lawmakers will fill the deficit, like the Kansas Constitution requires.

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