Kansas House

The budget-writing committee in the Kansas House has voted to cut 18 court reporter positions in the judicial branch and eliminate 13 additional unfilled positions.

Representative Pete DeGraaf, a Mulvane Republican, says this would help prompt the judicial branch to find cost savings. He says there's institutional resistance to change.

“Most of them know that this is inevitable and actually best and it’s efficient and probably the thing that needs to happen," DeGraaf says. "But who wants to be the first one to suggest it?”

The Kansas House has approved and sent a bill to the Senate that allows more access to police documents about the reason behind arrests.

The bill also would make affidavits justifying search warrants open to the parties involved.

The bill advanced 113-10 on Thursday, as the House finished work on dozens of bills ahead of the first major legislative deadline of the session.

A tougher fight for the bill is expected in the Senate.

Individuals whose homes are searched would have 30 days to request documentation explaining the reason for the search.

The Kansas House has rejected a proposal that Democrats say would create more jobs for Kansans.

The amendment would have required companies that get state contracts to mostly employ Kansas workers.

Representative Annie Tietze introduced the plan during debate on a bill.

"We talk about the American dream and we want to grow businesses,  but these peoples need jobs first," she says.

Representative Marvin Kleeb says the measure could lead to other states passing similar rules, and that could hurt Kansas businesses.

A House committee has advanced a bill aimed at exempting Kansas from the federal health care overhaul.

State Representative Brett Hildabrand, a Shawnee Republican, said that if the bill ends up passing, it could move Kansas towards gaining more control over federal health care programs.

“The broad federal approach tries to apply a cookie-cutter approach to every state. I believe that’s too broad and we need to put it back at the state level,” Hildabrand said.

The Kansas House has approved the 2015 budget for the Department of Corrections, authorizing more than $390 million for state prisons and programs.

The bill passed 79-41 on Thursday, sending the measure to the Senate and restoring the funding that was vetoed last year by Gov. Sam Brownback.

The spending covers the fiscal year beginning July 1 and includes funding for additional corrections officers and increased health care costs.

Democrat Kicks Off Campaign To Win Back Kansas House Seat

Sep 10, 2013

Topeka Democrat Ann Mah kicked off her campaign for the Kansas House Monday.

Mah served in the House for eight years before losing to Topeka Republican Ken Corbet by only 21 votes last November.

Mah was the Legislature's most vocal critic of Secretary of State Kris Kobach. A political action committee formed by Kobach backed Corbet.

After the 2012 election, Mah fought successfully in court to obtain the names of voters whose ballots had been set aside by election officials, in hopes of contacting them and helping them correct problems.

State Pension Plan Advances In House

Mar 26, 2013

Kansas House members have given first-round approval to a bill authorizing $1.5 billion in bonds to boost the financial health of the state pension system for teachers and government workers.

Bill Would Require Stem Cell Center At KU Med (UPDATED)

Mar 26, 2013

Updated at 7:19 a.m. The Kansas House passed the bill late Tuesday evening.

Teacher Bargaining Rights Bills Shelved

Mar 22, 2013

Two bills that would have cut back teachers' bargaining rights have been shelved for this session.

House Drops Pension Plan

Mar 21, 2013

Republican legislators in Kansas who want to put new government employees in a 401(k)-style pension plan have abandoned an effort to pass legislation this year.

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