Government

Government
12:58 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Four Kansas Insurance Dept. Directors Set To Retire In December

Four directors are retiring from the Kansas Insurance Department on December 5th.

Directors Marlyn Burch, life division; Neil Woerman, information technology; Steve O'Neil, consumer assistance; and Ted Clark, anti-fraud, will retire. The department has 11 directors.

Burch has worked for the department for 53 years.

O'Neil joined the department in 1987, while Woerman and Clark joined the department in 2003.

The department will wait to fill the positions until Ken Selzer becomes commissioner in January.

Government
12:58 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Gov. Brownback Won't Rule Out Tax Increase To Fix Budget

Governor Sam Brownback is staying tight-lipped about his plans to fix a hole in the state budget. But as Stephen Koranda reports, Brownback says he's looking at all the options.

Following a meeting at the Statehouse, Brownback gave few details to the media about what he'll propose. He says all options are on the table, including tax increases or slowing future scheduled decreases.

Brownback also won't say whether he'll make budget cuts, known as allotments before lawmakers return to the Statehouse in January.

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Government
11:54 am
Tue November 25, 2014

KBI To Survey Kansas Law Enforcement Agencies For Backlogs Involving Sexual Assault Kits

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is trying to find out if Kansas has a backlog of untested sexual assault kits.

Officials say that across the country, hundreds of thousands of the kits remain untested.

The KBI recently sent surveys to all Kansas law enforcement agencies to identify if there is a testing backlog for the kits, which include swabs and specimens gathered during exams of sexual assault victims.

The group's director, Kirk Thompson, says the KBI doesn't think there is one, but wants to make sure.

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Government
12:23 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Projected Budget Shortfalls Has Republican Lawmakers Mulling Over Kansas' Tax Policy

Projected budget shortfalls in Kansas have some Republican legislators weighing proposals to backtrack on tax-cutting policies championed by Governor Sam Brownback.

However, House Appropriations Committee chairman and Wichita Republican Gene Suellentrop said on Tuesday that such measures should be a last resort.

Governor Brownback and the legislature must close shortfalls in the current and next state budgets totaling more than $714 million dollars, after lawmakers open their annual session in January.

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Government
4:22 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Brownback Campaign Spokesman Takes Job With Kansas Dept. Of Administration

The spokesman for Governor Sam Brownback's successful re-election campaign has taken a similar job at the Kansas Department of Administration.

John Milburn began work on Monday as the department's communications director.

The Department of Administration oversees contracting, personnel services, and computer systems for state agencies under the governor's control and manages state office buildings.

Milburn joined Brownback's campaign in July after working as a Statehouse reporter in Topeka for The Associated Press.

Government
9:45 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Fifteen Same-Sex Couples Wed On Steps Of Wichita's Historic Courthouse

Same-sex couples stand on the steps of Wichita's historic courthouse waiting for a wedding ceremony to begin
Credit Hugo Phan

 

Correction: A previous posting of this story incorrectly stated 14 couples were wed; an additional couple registered after the ceremony

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Government
2:27 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Fight Over Voter Citizenship Law Shifts Back To State Courts And Lawmakers

The fight over a voter proof-of-citizenship law that prevented about 22,000 Kansas residents from casting ballots on Election Day has shifted back to state courts and lawmakers.

The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals recently overturned a judge's order that added citizenship documentation requirements on national voter registration forms used by Kansas and Arizona voters.

Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach has championed the state law as a way to limit fraud; opponents argue that it wrongfully disenfranchises voters.

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Government
2:05 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

State Agency Fails To Widely Correct Inflated Poverty Rate

A state agency says it sent out a news release before the election that incorrectly claimed poverty in Kansas had declined under Gov. Sam Brownback and did not issue a correction to the media when it became aware of the inaccuracy.

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Government
7:00 am
Sat November 15, 2014

Sedgwick County Board Of Canvassers Count Provisional Ballots

Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman meets with Board of Canvassers to count provisional ballots from the 2014 mid-term election
Credit Carla Eckels

The Sedgwick County board of canvassers met Thursday in downtown Wichita to approve the process of counting provisional ballots from the November 4th mid-term election. KMUW’s Carla Eckels reports…

A provisional ballot is cast when voters’ eligibility is questioned. Four thousand of those were presented Thursday morning to the canvass board.

About 140 provisional ballots were cast due to errors made by poll workers. Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman says other voters lacked needed documents.

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Government
5:03 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Supreme Court Lifts Same-Sex Marriage Ban In Kansas

Credit Lars Lundqvist / Flickr

 

The U.S. Supreme Court has cleared the way for same-sex couples to marry in Kansas. The decision was handed down on Wednesday afternoon. 

    

For now, Kansas is the 33rd state to allow same-sex couples to marry. The Supreme Court ordered the state to lift its ban while legal battles over the practice continue. County clerks across the state can begin issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

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