Kansas Legislature

Kansas lawmakers are continuing to study issues with a state software system. A legislative panel will be hearing details about problems at a meeting later today.

The state has spent more than $14 million on the software system for the Legislature.

At a meeting last month, Senate President Susan Wagle said problems continue when drafting bills and amendments, which caused delays during the last legislative session.

Kansas lawmakers will be studying problems with a state software system. A committee will be meeting next month to start collecting information about the issues. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, Kansas has spent $14 million on the program.

The system is behind the public website for the Kansas Legislature and connects all the various departments and staff in the Statehouse. It’s also used for drafting and distributing bills and amendments.

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A legal fight in Kansas over funding for the courts is attracting national headlines and attention from advocacy groups outside the state. At issue is a law that changes the way chief judges are selected. A later budget bill was tied to the law.

As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, that means if the judicial selection law is struck down, the Kansas court system’s funding is also eliminated.

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Gov. Sam Brownback says work on a new formula for funding Kansas' public schools should focus on how local districts spend their money, create incentives to shift dollars into classroom instruction and encourage merit pay for teachers.

The Republican governor said during an Associated Press interview that he'd like the GOP-dominated Legislature to draft a new formula next year. It would determine how the state distributes the bulk of its aid the 286 districts, now more than $4 billion.

Stephen Koranda file photo

Funding for the entire Kansas judicial system is now in legal limbo.

A Shawnee County judge has struck down a law that changes the way chief judges are selected. But that law was tied to other legislation that said all funding for the judicial branch of government would be stripped away if the first law was struck down.

The Kansas Legislature passed a law that took administrative power away from the state supreme court.


The state political parties in Kansas are beginning to gear up for the 2016 election, but party leaders are focused on different strategies right now. Stephen Koranda reports on how they’re approaching Statehouse races.

Republicans have big majorities in the Kansas Legislature. State GOP Executive Director Clay Barker says that means they’re right now targeting areas where they’ll face a close race or could pick up a seat.

mlinksva / Public Domain / Creative Commons

The 2015 Kansas state legislative session is winding down.

Critics complain that the legislature was in session too long to accomplish what it did. At the same time, we need to remember that the state legislature is the most important link between Kansans and their state government. It is also the most representative institution of the state.

Stephen Koranda

Lawmakers are taking a long weekend after working hard last week to beat a legislative deadline known as "turnaround." As Stephen Koranda reports, when they return on Wednesday, they’ll have fewer issues to consider.

Most bills had to have passed one chamber in the Kansas Legislature by the end of last week or they are dead for the session. That means many bills are done for this year. But, bills from certain legislative committees are exempt, for example budget bills remain alive and well.

Joseph Novak / Flickr / Creative Commons

Whew! That ol’ Kansas wind! It’s been blowing like crazy lately with gusts up to 35 miles per hour and higher.

It’s been blowing so hard that it completely blew the cover off a couple of Koch subsidiaries.

The Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity were left shivering and coverless by those recent gusts. The Kansas Chamber and Americans for Prosperity are known for their own windy proclamations about jobs and how much they, oh, so sincerely just want what’s best for the Kansas economy.

Stephen Koranda

Right now, there's only audio streaming from the floor of the House and Senate, so you can tune in to hear things like this.

"Further questions on the amendment? Senator from Wilson, Senator Knox. Thank you Mr. Chairman. I rise in opposition to this amendment."

The bills would add live audio and video streaming from four of the most-active committee rooms. Committees are where much of the real work on bills takes place. Representative Reid Petty, a Republican from Liberal, says many people in his district can't take the time for a nearly six-hour drive to the Statehouse.