Kansas Legislature

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Secretary of State Kris Kobach wants lawmakers to give him the authority to create a two-tiered voting system in Kansas. That would mean people who register to vote at the DMV and don’t provide a citizenship document, as required under state law, would only be allowed to vote in federal races.

Kansas voter registration laws still require proof of citizenship, but federal courts have ruled that the state can’t require such proof when people register to vote at the DMV or when they use a federal registration form. Kobach says that bypasses the state’s voter registration rules.

Kansas News Service

The Kansas legislative session is not yet two weeks old, but there are already signs of the change that many voters called for in the recent elections.

New legislative leadership and an aggressive group of newcomers are pushing back against many of Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget proposals, which they say won’t fix structural problems with the state budget.

Message From Voters

From the earliest days of the campaign season, it was evident that many voters were frustrated about the “budget mess” in Topeka.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Lawmakers in a Kansas House committee are considering Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan to liquidate state investments to fill a budget hole.

The proposal would basically drain the investment fund of more than $300 million and pay that back over seven years, with interest.

Brownback's budget director, Shawn Sullivan, told the House Appropriations Committee that the choices may be this or budget cuts.

Wikimedia Commons

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is asking the Legislature to give him authority to bar potentially tens of thousands of people from casting votes in state or local races.

The Lawrence Journal World reported the Republican asked a Senate committee Tuesday for legislation giving him power to hold "bifurcated" elections in Kansas.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Lawmakers have the tall order of creating a new school funding system for Kansas public schools: The temporary block grants that have been funding schools are set to expire this year. Stephen Koranda reports on how legislators might begin the process.

J J, flickr Creative Commons

At the request of Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, the House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee introduced a bill Thursday that would increase criminal penalties for crimes targeting law enforcement officers.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas lawmakers are moving fast on revisions to the process for filling a Congressional vacancy, anticipating there will be a vacancy very soon. Hearings to confirm Congressman Mike Pompeo as CIA director started on Thursday.

The Kansas House has approved a bill to extend by a month the timeline for a special election to be held after being called by the governor. That would put the state in compliance with federal rules allowing members of the military to vote by absentee ballot.

Republican Rep. Keith Esau says the revisions are sorely needed.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration is proposing hiking tobacco and alcohol taxes and shifting money from other parts of the budget to balance the state’s finances. The proposal would take money from the state highway fund and delay the payoff date for a deficit in the state pension plan.

Brownback’s budget director, Shawn Sullivan, outlined the proposed budget during a committee meeting Wednesday morning. He said they’ve submitted a reasonable proposal.

Andy Marso / Kansas News Service

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback laid out new policy proposals and budget plans during his State of the State address Tuesday. Even though Kansas faces a budget deficit adding up to almost a billion dollars by next year, the governor began his speech by showcasing some of the state's strong points. KPR's Stephen Koranda reports.

Sedgwickcounty.org

A hearing was held at the Statehouse Tuesday on a proposed bill that would change the timing of a special election to be held in the event of a vacancy in the 4th Congressional District. Now, the Sedgwick County Election Office is anticipating the next steps.

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