Kansas Legislature

Hugo Phan / KMUW/File photo

In addition to the budget, income taxes and education, Kansas lawmakers will also debate whether to roll back some gun legislation.

As Sam Zeff with the Kansas News Service reports, a bill to do just that has already been filed.

The pre-filed measure would negate a law from two years ago that allows anyone to carry a concealed gun in the Statehouse. The capitol is secured by metal detectors and highway patrol troopers.

The lone sponsor of the legislation is Democratic Rep. Louis Ruiz from Kansas City, Kansas.

Kansas News Service

As they gavel in Monday for the 2017 session, Kansas legislators are considering delaying juvenile justice reforms enacted last year.

Last year’s bill was intended to steer low-level juvenile offenders into diversion and treatment programs rather than group homes and detention facilities. It had broad bipartisan support, and Gov. Sam Brownback called it the premier legislation of the 2016 session when he signed it in April.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

The Kansas Legislature begins its new session today. State lawmakers face several big challenges this year, like filling a huge budget hole and writing a new school funding formula. As Stephen Koranda reports, many new leaders and lawmakers will be working to tackle these issues.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

The Kansas State Library is offering a free hotline for residents to call with questions and information about the Legislature.

Kansans can call, text, email and send instant messages to reference and research librarians at the Statehouse. Communication is kept confidential.

Lines are open for the Ask a Librarian program Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Librarians are on hand to answer questions about legislation, legislative procedure, state government and public policy issues.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas lawmakers have the tall order of writing a new school funding formula this year. There’s already some agreement between the governor and the organization representing school boards: They don’t want the current funding system extended.

Kansas legislators threw out the old school funding formula in 2015 and replaced it with block grants set to expire this year.

Some lawmakers are concerned they might get bogged down writing a new formula and end up extending the block grants. Gov. Sam Brownback says he’s not in favor of that.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Nearly two dozen legislators from districts across south-central Kansas participated in a public forum in Wichita Wednesday night ahead of the start of the legislative session on Monday.

Community members voiced concerns about topics including Kansas tax policy, Medicaid expansion and state gun laws. Twenty-seven attendees signed up to speak at the forum, though there was time budgeted for up to 75.

Wikipedia

A Kansas lawmaker hopes legislation that would allow the medicinal use of hemp oil can make headway next legislative session. It would allow the use of hemp oil to treat certain conditions.

The oil is made from hemp, a plant that’s the same species as marijuana, but hemp oil doesn’t cause a person to feel high because it doesn’t contain enough of marijuana’s active ingredient.

Democratic state Rep. John Wilson says medical use of the oil can give Kansas families new options for treating children with seizure disorders.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Legislators from south-central Kansas will hold a public forum Wednesday, less than a week before lawmakers convene for the 2017 session.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

The crop of new legislators and Kansas Statehouse leaders means a new chance for some issues to make headway in the coming session. Stephen Koranda reports on one topic that might get more traction: expanding Medicaid to cover more people.

UFM Community Learning Center Facebook

The number of wineries in Kansas is increasing. Experts say there were 12 companies with licenses in 2008, compared to 40 today.

Scott Kohl leads the study of grapes and wines as the director of the Viticulture and Enology program at Highland Community College in northeast Kansas. The school helps to educate wine makers across the state.

Kohl says the "grow local" movement and increased awareness that grapes can grow in Kansas has helped build the industry.

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