Jeff King

Stephen Koranda

Updated June 27, 2016: Gov. Sam Brownback signed Substitute for House Bill 2001, which aims to satisfy a mandate from the Kansas Supreme Court to correct inequities in school funding. The bill increases state funding for poor districts by $38 million for the 2016-17 school year by diverting funds from other parts of the budget as well as redistributes funds from wealthier districts. Brownback says that signing the bill ensures that Kansas schools will remain open.

“I appreciate the hard work of legislators which began prior to the start of the session in a series of meetings," Brownback said in a press release. "The effort to bring together legislators, educators and attorneys resulted in a bill supported by all parties and a stipulation by plaintiff’s attorney that House Bill 2001 satisfies the equity portion of this litigation."

Brownback also congratulated House Speaker Ray Merrick and Senate President Susan Wagle for "an efficient and focused special session."

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

The vice president of the Kansas Senate says he will not seek re-election.

Republican Jeff King, from Independence, says lawmakers have become too focused on what he calls soundbites and politics. King says the current political system punishes lawmakers who admit they’ve made a mistake and try to fix it. He uses the example of a business income tax exemption he initially supported, then in recent years worked to eliminate.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File Photo

State lawmakers are considering how to erase a budget shortfall, and on Thursday a Kansas Senate committee took a look at business taxes.

Lawmakers held a hearing on a bill that would partially roll back a tax exemption for business income. Jim Eschrich is a business owner who says the tax changes overall have been good, but he says it’s unfair for some business owners not to pay income taxes.

The Kansas Senate Judiciary Committee's chairman is promoting a series of measures aimed at making the courts more efficient in response to a budget-focused address by the state Supreme Court's chief justice.

Independence Republican Jeff King sent Chief Justice Lawton Nuss a letter Thursday, a day after Nuss gave the annual State of the Judiciary address. Nuss warned that the courts need another $8.3 million for the fiscal year beginning in July to avoid employee furloughs.

Stephen Koranda

In 2005, 17-year-old Robert Haberlein and two other people entered a Dollar General store in Bonner Springs. It was late in the day and only one person, 44-year-old Robin Bell, was working in the store. The three overpowered Bell and took her into the back of the store, forcing her to open the safe. They beat her before shooting and killing her.

The chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court and a prominent legislator are butting heads. At issue are allegations made the the justice.

He says the legislator, who's an attorney, tried to make a deal tying a pay raise for court workers to a constitutional amendment.

Chief Justice Lawton Nuss wrote a letter to a group of judges outlining the allegations. He said that Senate Vice President Jeff King told a group of judges in a meeting if they didn’t support a plan to overhaul how Supreme Court justices are selected, then the pay increase might not pass.

Stephen Koranda, File Photo / Kansas Public Radio

Supporters say a bill to require some recipients of state benefits to be tested for drug use will help people improve their lives, not punish them.

Senate Vice President Jeff King told the Commerce Committee Wednesday that the proposals in Senate Bill 149 will help those receiving assistance payments or unemployment benefits to receive treatment and find employment.