Government

Government
9:56 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Commission: Voter Citizenship Law Could Prevent Eligible Citizens From Voting

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission has found that heightened proof-of-citizenship requirements could hinder eligible citizens from voting in federal elections.

Their ruling late Friday denied requests from Kansas, Arizona and Georgia to modify the federal registration form for their residents.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says the states now will press their constitutional claims before the U.S. District Court in Kansas.

Kobach says the decision is unconstitutional because it prevents the states from securing their voter rolls.

Government
9:30 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Kansas To Increase Payments From Oil And Gas Fund To State Counties

Kansas will increase payments from a trust fund to several counties that had sued over the annual disbursements.

Governor Sam Brownback's administration announced earlier this week that the state will increase payments from the Oil and Gas Depletion Fund to many counties.

Nearly half of the state's 105 counties, and all the counties in southwest Kansas, sued last fall.

They said they should have received twice as much money as the total sent to counties in October from the trust fund.

Kansas Budget
3:23 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Brownback Releases Details Of Budget Plan

Governor Sam Brownback is proposing a reversal of some state university salary cuts and a raise for classified state employees. He's also hoping to rewrite the Department of Corrections budget.

Senator Ty Masterson, an Andover Republican, chairs the Senate's budget committee. He says most of the governor's proposed $460 million dollar spending increase is allocated for corrections, but some lawmakers will still have concerns.

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Government
9:43 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Brownback Outlines Past Accomplishments And Plans For 2014 In State Of The State Address

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback delivers his State of the State address, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, in the House of Representatives in Topeka, Kan.
Credit (AP Photo/The Topeka Capital Journal, Chris NeaL)

Governor Sam Brownback took aim at Kansas courts, referenced state history and touted his administration's accomplishments during the annual State of the State address on Wednesday night.

Brownback also unveiled some of his legislative priorities as he spoke before members of the legislature.

The Governor held up what he says are the achievements of his administration over the last three years: building up state financial reserves and balancing the budget during the recession.

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Government
10:00 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Dept. Of Revenue To Ease Driver's Education Permit Process With Online Applications

Young Kansans seeking driver's education permits will find the task much easier starting April 1 when the Department of Revenue switches to an online application portal.

Each year the department handles about 50,000 driver's ed applications, which can take several weeks to process, and longer if there is a medical or vision issue. That has meant students who sign up for a driving class at the last minute or don't get around to sending in their application might not have the necessary permit to participate in the driving portion of the class.

Government
9:47 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer Loaned $500K To Gov. Brownback's Re-election Campaign

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer loaned $500,000 to Gov. Sam Brownback's re-election campaign at the end of 2013.

Financial disclosure reports submitted to the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission by the Brownback campaign revealed the last-minute loan from Colyer, Brownback's Republican running-mate. The contribution pushed the governor's total receipts for the year to $1.6 million.

Brownback's Democratic challenger Paul Davis had $1 million in total receipts for the year.

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Kansas Budget
8:29 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Education Lawsuit Could Prompt Budget Rewrite

Legislators return to the Kansas Statehouse Monday to kick off the 2014 legislative session.

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Government
10:20 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Attorney General Derek Schmidt Seeks Stronger Penalties For Medicaid Fraud

Attorney General Derek Schmidt says he will ask Kansas legislators to strengthen the state's penalties for Medicaid fraud.

Schmidt outlined his proposal on Thursday during a stop in Wichita.

He says his office gained 15 criminal convictions and recovered $33.7 million dollars in the latest fiscal year from people guilty of defrauding the program.

Schmidt is proposing higher fines for the crime.

He also wants people convicted of Medicaid fraud to serve prison time instead of the current sentence of probation.

Veterans Services
3:43 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Brownback Proposes More Veterans' Services

Governor Sam Brownback is proposing more services for veterans in Kansas.

The proposal includes a $1.4 million renovation of a veterans' home in Fort Dodge. It would also add 40 beds to a veterans' facility in Winfield.

“We’re a big military state and we’re proud of it, and we want to take care of our veterans and do everything we possibly can,” Brownback said.

In addition, the state would hire four new outreach personnel to help veterans access the benefits they've earned.

Kansas Corporation Commission
5:13 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Brownback Nominates State Senator for KCC Seat

Governor Sam Brownback is nominating a former Kansas Senate majority leader for a seat on the Kansas Corporation Commission.

Brownback has chosen Republican Senator Jay Emler, from Lindsborg, to take the position being vacated by KCC Chairman Mark Sievers.

Brownback says Emler will be a good fit for the commission, which regulates industries including utilities and oil drilling.

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