Monday marks the start of the 2013 legislative session. This could be one of the most significant sessions in years.
Conservative Republicans control the House, Senate, and Governor's office. In recent years. moderate Republicans and Democrats have been able to block some legislation pushed by conservatives. But that is unlikely to happen in this session.
Incoming Kansas Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce has filled out his staff with a former congressional intern and an aide to the state House speaker.
Bruce chose Kara Evans to be his legislative director. Evans recently graduated with a bachelor of arts in political science and government from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa. Evans has worked as an intern for Republican U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas and James Inhofe of Oklahoma.
Bruce has also hired Katrina Abraham as his executive assistant. Abraham held the same position for outgoing House Speaker Mike O'Neal.
Democrats in the Kansas House say legislators have been warned that Governor Sam Brownback's tax cuts are likely to mean there's less cash to go around.
"Legislative services who are the people we rely on, have always relied on for years, told you there would be a problem, tax experts in the state told you we would have a deficit before the session even started, that makes sense," says Democratic Representative Barbara Ballard of Lawrence.
Four candidates from District IV will be considered this week for the interim Wichita City Council seat.
Michael O'Donnell vacated his seat on the city council when he was elected to serve in the Kansas State Senate this fall.
Candidates Joshua Blick, Jeff Blubaugh, Paul Gray and Stan Reeser were all nominated by the District IV Advisory Board. Three of the candidates were interviewed last week by the board at a public forum in south Wichita.
The District IV Advisory Board will conduct interviews for the interim Wichita City Council seat during a special meeting next week.
Two of the candidates are former city council members and one lost to the outgoing incumbent. The District IV seat in southwest Wichita will open on January 1 after council member Michael O'Donnell resigns on December 31. O'Donnell was elected to the Kansas State Senate in November.