Government

Government
9:12 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Caleb Stegall Being Sworn Into The Kansas Court Of Appeals

Governor Brownback's former chief legal counsel is set to take a seat on the Kansas Court of Appeals.

A swearing-in ceremony for Caleb Stegall is scheduled for Friday, with Court of Appeals Chief Judge Tom Malone presiding.

Stegall is filling a new, 14th seat on the state's second-highest court.

Stegall's appointment by the Republican governor has received quite a bit of attention.

It's because he's the first Court of Appeals appointment under a new law that took effect in July.

And partly because of his position as Brownback's chief lawyer.

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Government
9:09 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Kansas Statehouse Ready To Welcome Visitors After $330 Million Dollar Renovation

After 13 years and 330 million dollars in renovations, the Kansas Statehouse is ready to welcome visitors.

The project's final phase included an auditorium, a classroom, thousands of square feet of exhibition space and a visitors' center.

There's a ribbon cutting today to open the new space.

A formal ceremony to mark completion of the renovation project is scheduled for Kansas Day, Jan. 29.

Visitors will enter the building from the north at the ground level and proceed through the visitor center and into limestone corridors that are the foundation.

Government
9:02 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Kansas Ends 2013 With Budget Revenues On Target

Kansas ended 2013 with budget revenues on target, beating the fiscal year to date estimates by $4.3 million dollars.

The state Department of Revenue's report says Kansas' receipts were $3.3 million dollars, or almost 1 percent, more than expected.

Corporate income revenue receipts were up almost almost 7 percent-- in part because corporations made about $10 million more in payments this month compared to December 2012.

The Department of Revenue says this indicates that corporations had larger profits compared to the prior year.

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Taxes
3:01 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Gay Couples Sue to Overturn Kansas Tax Filing Policy

Legally married same-sex couples are suing the Kansas Department of Revenue over a policy that says they must file separate state tax returns.

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Government
9:17 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Kris Kobach Files A Stay In Lawsuit Over Voter Citizenship Law

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has asked a federal judge to stay a lawsuit over Kansas' voter proof-of-citizenship law while another case he initiated is being heard.

Kobach filed the request yesterday in federal court.

The lawsuit in question was filed against him this November by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU wants to prevent Kobach from setting up different registration systems for voters based on whether they use state or federal forms.

The federal form doesn't require proof of U.S. citizenship.

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Government
9:09 am
Fri December 27, 2013

State To Begin Million-Dollar Drug Testing Program For Welfare Recipients

Kansas is set to begin a drug testing program next year for some welfare recipients.

The state's program is similar to one in Missouri. After eight months, and 636 drug test requests, Missouri's program this year cost nearly $500,000 and found 20 people who tested positive.

Like Missouri, Kansas will test welfare recipients who are suspected of drug use, sometimes flagged by tests or a questionnaire.

The Kansas law cuts off benefits for welfare recipients who are reasonably suspected of drug use and test positive.

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Government
9:04 am
Mon December 23, 2013

University Leaders Say Cuts To KBA Could Have Negative Impact On State

University leaders say cuts to the Kansas Bioscience Authority budget could have a negative impact on the state.

The KBA invests tax dollars in and nurtures new companies in the biosciences and life sciences fields.

It's been operating on a budget of more than $35 million dollars per year in some years.

State funding support, however, has fallen to about $4 million dollars this year.

Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little says the KBA helped the KU Cancer Center attain the National Cancer Institute designation.

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Legislation
5:17 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Drug Testing Law For Legislators Has No Penalties

Some Kansas lawmakers could be required to submit to drug testing next legislative session as part of a new law. But it appears there would be no legal or financial consequences if they test positive for drug use.

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Government
9:13 am
Thu December 19, 2013

The State Will No Longer Reimburse Travel Expenses For Retiring Or Defeated Lawmakers

Lawmakers have also taken steps to keep retiring or defeated lawmakers from going to conferences and taking trips at the state's expense.

House and Senate leaders agreed unanimously Wednesday to revise the Legislature's travel reimbursement policies.

House Minority Leader Paul Davis suggested the change.

The new policy says if lawmakers don't file for re-election or are defeated, they aren't entitled to state reimbursement of expenses for out-of-state trips.

Government
8:59 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Capitol Police: State Lawmakers With Guns In The Kansas Statehouse Could 'Lead To Problems'

The new concealed carry law allows state lawmakers to carry concealed guns into the Kansas Statehouse.

Capitol Police told lawmakers yesterday that could lead to problems.

The was designed to allow people with concealed carry permits to bring their weapons into public buildings. The weapons can't be banned unless the buildings have security measures, like metal detectors, in place.

However, the law written so that legislators--who have greater access to the building than the general public--can legally carry concealed weapons if they hold state permits.

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