Kansas Government

Robert Hruzek, flickr Creative Commons

A journalism watchdog group is giving Kansas state government a failing grade for transparency.

The nonprofit Center for Public Integrity says the deaths of several children in the foster care system should have prompted an audit of the state agency that oversees the system. But Republicans on the Legislative Post Audit committee blocked an investigation.

Brownback Names Secretary Of Administration

Jul 15, 2013

Gov. Sam Brownback has appointed a former utility executive to be the new secretary of the Department of Administration.

More than 200 real estate agents rallied in Topeka Wednesday morning to ask lawmakers to preserve two different income tax breaks for homeowners.

The Kansas Association of Realtors gathered at the Statehouse before sending members to meet with state legislators.

Not everyone's happy with a proposal to drop antique guns from the definition of firearms, as part of a bill to change Kansas' firearms regulations. Assistant attorney general C.W. Klebe discussed the proposed changes Wednesday before a Senate committee.

The changes include new regulations that clarify local governments can't bar concealed-carry license holders from bringing guns into their jurisdictions. It's not clear if this regulation change will apply to out-of-state visitors while they are in Kansas. 

Gov.  Sam Brownback has proclaimed Wednesday "Armed Forces Appreciation Day" in Kansas.

The governor says it's "a chance to show our deep gratitude for their service and sacrifice--and the sacrifice made by their families. Today we pledge our support for them in peace, in crisis, and in war." 

Gov. Sam Brownback and Attorney General Derek Schmidt have proposed a bill that would strengthen the state's human trafficking statues, with an emphasis on protecting children from sexual exploitation. 

The bill they'll submit to the state legislature establishes a Human Trafficking Victim Assistance Fund to support trafficking survivors. Mandatory fines on people convicted of human trafficking and related sex crimes will pay for the fund. The bill also provides for special procedures for children who have been subjected to human trafficking.

Gov. Brownback Wants To Use Highway Dollars For School Busing

Jan 17, 2013

Gov. Sam  Brownback would like to use some the state's highway dollars to help cover the cost of bussing children to and from public schools.

Brownback proposed Wednesday that the state divert $193 million normally set aside for highway projects to school transportation programs during the next two fiscal years. The diversion would be almost $97 million each year.

Gov. Brownback Outlines New Education Budget Proposals

Jan 16, 2013

Gov. Sam Brownback's new budget proposals would phase in a $76 million increase in aid to public schools over two years.  He would would also use $77 million in revenue from state-owned casinos to help fund teacher pensions. 

Gov. Sam Brownback's administration may ask state legislators to repeal laws that restrict corporate involvement in farming.  

State Agriculture Secretary Dale Rodman told freshmen legislators Tuesday that the state's anti-corporate farming laws need to be repealed. He added later that the state can't expand agriculture as much as it could because of those restrictions. 

Also, Attorney General Derek Schmidt recently told Secretary Rodman that some of the restrictions are likely unconstitutional.