Kansas Legislature

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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.

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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.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Kansas lawmakers wasted no time getting down to business on the first day of the 2017 legislative session. House tax committee members met and introduced their first tax proposal Monday afternoon.

The bill would repeal an income tax exemption for more than 300,000 Kansas businesses to help balance the state budget in the face of a deficit. Republican Steven Johnson, the committee’s chairman, said they’ll also be considering other ideas.

Abigail Beckman / KMUW

President-elect Donald Trump is planning to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act within the first 100 days of his administration, a move that will most likely stop efforts to expand the federal Medicaid program. The decision to expand or not was left up to state legislatures, and so far, Kansas lawmakers have chosen not to expand the state's privatized Medicaid program known as KanCare.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

As he officially took over his new job on Monday, Kansas Speaker of the House Ron Ryckman said lawmakers should work together to craft solutions and carry on the state’s tradition of small government.

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