Government

Government
11:17 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Kansas Unemployment Rate Increases Slightly In June

Kansas saw its unemployment rate inch up to 4.9 percent in June, though the state also experienced modest, over-the-year growth in private-sector jobs.

The Kansas Department of Labor reported Thursday that the seasonally adjusted jobless rate rose from 4.8 percent in May. However, June's figure still was significantly better than the 5.6 percent recorded in June of last year.

The department also said the number of nonfarm, private-sector jobs grew by about 1.3 percent in June, compared with June of 2013. Nearly 1.13 million Kansans held such jobs.

Government
12:44 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Kansas Tax Consultant Recants Claim To Work With Governor's Office

A Kansas tax consultant told his clients that he worked with Gov. Sam Brownback's office to rid the Kansas Board of Tax Appeals of employees who weren't "taxpayer friendly," but after the governor's office denied the claim, the consultant recanted.

In a July 14 letter obtained by the Topeka Capital-Journal, Jerry Chatam, president of Overland Park-based J.W. Chatam & Associates, told clients that an agreement with the governor's office meant remaining board members wouldn't "present any more problems."

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Government
11:27 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Pittsburg Biking Trail Project To Receive Federal Funding

A mile-long walking and biking trail in Pittsburg is among 20 projects in Kansas that will share $11.5 million in federal transportation funding.

The project has an estimated cost of $900,000, and will receive $656,000 from the federally funded Transportation Alternatives Program. Troy Graham is the city's director of Planning and Community Services, he says the rest of the money will come from private donors.

Government
11:17 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Tuesday Is Last Day To Register To Vote For KS Primaries

Tomorrow is the final day for Kansans to register to vote or update their address before the Kansas primary election on August 5th. As Stephen Koranda reports, there’s also still time to provide missing citizenship documents that are keeping voter registrations from being processed.

Anyone who's registering to vote for the first time in Kansas needs to provide a document proving that they're a U.S. citizen. Andrew Howell is Shawnee County’s election commissioner.

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Government
11:00 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Kansas Begins To Distribute Withheld Tax Refunds

The state is now distributing tax refunds that were frozen for two weeks at the end of the last fiscal year.

With the new fiscal year beginning July 1, the Kansas Department of Revenue sent just more than 19,000 refunds to the Kansas Department of Administration for payment.

Jeannine Koranda is spokeswoman for the revenue department, she says most Kansans who didn’t get their refunds should have received them by now or will receive them soon.

Government
10:48 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Kansas Judge Rejects Injunction Against Voter Citizenship Law

A Kansas judge has cleared the way for Secretary of State Kris Kobach to use a dual voting system to enforce the state’s proof-of-citizenship for new voters.

On Friday, Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis denied the American Civil Liberties Union’s request for a preliminary injunction to stop Kobach from implementing a new policy.

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Government
11:22 am
Fri July 11, 2014

ACLU And Kobach Head To Court Over Voter Citizenship Law

The American Civil Liberties Union and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach are heading to court again in their battle over Kobach’s attempts to enforce a proof-of-citizenship requirement for new voters.

The ACLU hopes a Shawnee County judge will use Friday’s hearing to review its request for a temporary injunction to keep Kobach from imposing a new policy for the state’s Aug. 5 primary elections.

Kobach has said that Kansas residents who register with a national form will be allowed to complete full ballots, but only their votes in congressional races will be counted.

Government
12:17 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Federal Advocacy Group To Challenge Kansas Gun Law

A national gun-control group says it is planning to challenge a Kansas law declaring that the federal government has no authority to regulate guns that are manufactured, sold and kept only in the state.

The Washington-based Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence announced Monday that it would file a federal lawsuit against the state law.

The Kansas law was enacted in 2013 and makes it a felony for any U.S. government employee to attempt to enforce a federal regulation or treaty when it comes to Kansas-only firearms, ammunition or accessories.

Government
12:24 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

KS Statehouse Visitors Can Now Carry Hidden Guns

A visitor to the Kansas Statehouse going through security.
Credit Stephen Koranda

Visitors with a concealed carry permit can now bring handguns into the Kansas Statehouse. The change took effect this week, and Statehouse security officers have a process in place to determine who's carrying in the Capitol. Stephen Koranda reports.

Visitors with a firearm will need to provide their concealed carry permit and a photo ID. Kansas Capitol Police Officer Stephen Crumpler says staff will screen the person for other weapons and use a system to double-check that the concealed carry permit is valid.

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Government
12:59 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Schodorf Unveils Proposed Voting Changes

Jean Schodorf holds a voter registration form during a news conference at the Kansas Statehouse.
Credit Stephen Koranda

Democratic candidate for Kansas secretary of state has unveiled her proposal to revamp some voter registration rules. Kansas law requires proof of citizenship documents for people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas, and that requirement has put around 19,000 voter registrations on hold. Stephen Koranda reports...

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