Kansas Legislature

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

State lawmakers from south-central Kansas will be available in the community this weekend for a question-and-answer forum.

The fourth and final legislative forum for the South-Central Kansas Legislative Delegation will take place Saturday at the Wichita State University Hughes Metropolitan Complex from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The bi-partisan group of state representatives and senators will take written questions from attendees.

Rep. Blake Carpenter expects a wide range of topics to come up.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

The Kansas Statehouse filled with more than 1,000 people opposing government policies that they say hamper religious freedom.

Speakers at yesterday’s rally criticized requirements that businesses offer certain types of birth control coverage in their health insurance. A florist from Washington state told the crowd that she was sued for refusing to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding.

A union representing Kansas teachers has filed two district court lawsuits, alleging that three teachers were removed from their positions without independent hearings, even though they earned tenure before the Kansas Legislature repealed teacher protections in 2014.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

More than a dozen state representatives from south-central Kansas participated in a public forum Wednesday night in Wichita.

 

Christopher Sessums / flickr Creative Commons

A Kansas legislative committee has delayed work on a report that recommends ways to overhaul public schools. The committee is supposed to review K-12 education and make recommendations the Legislature can use when writing a new school funding formula.

Republican state Rep. Ron Ryckman moved to delay work on the final report. He says that will give legislative staffers a chance to review the document and identify where individual suggestions are coming from.

Bryan Thompson

This year was a memorable one for Kansas state government. Lawmakers tangled over a variety of issues during the longest Kansas legislative session in history. To wrap up 2015, KPR’s Stephen Koranda looks back at a few of the most high-profile events at the Statehouse this year.

It was supposed to be a 90-day session, but Kansas lawmakers worked on tax and budget issues for a record 114 days. That was seven days longer than the previous record set back in 2002.

Kansas Legislature

A Democratic member of the Kansas House from Wichita plans to resign so that she can spend more time with her grandchildren.

Rep. Carolyn Bridges announced her plans Tuesday. She said she will step down Sunday.

Bridges said she's come to realize that acquiring the knowledge necessary to be an effective legislator takes a number of years. She said she wants to spend her retirement years babysitting her grandchildren and pursuing other opportunities.

Bryan Thompson

Public records advocates are pushing state legislators to bring the Kansas Open Records Act more in line with open record laws in other states.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports changes to the police records portion of the law are supported by Harold and Alberta Leach, the Kansas Press Association, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters and the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government.

Bryan Thompson

Kansas lawmakers are considering how to defend the state against cyberattacks or data theft. One possible change would consolidate all the state’s IT security into one agency. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, a state panel held a closed-door meeting on security issues this week.

Rep. Brett Hildabrand says consolidating the services will likely mean a cost savings. He says it could also create a consistent standard for IT security in Kansas agencies.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File Photo

A bill before the Kansas Legislature is aimed at avoiding conflicts of interest on local school boards. But as KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, it could make nearly half of current school board members ineligible for their jobs.

To avoid conflicts of interest, the bill would bar anyone from serving on a school board if a family member works for a school district.

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