Kansas Legislature

Andy Marso / Kansas News Service

Kansas legislators have heard testimony on Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposal to help close a budget hole by raising tobacco taxes. But they haven’t scheduled a vote and, as Andy Marso reports, there’s plenty of opposition.

Public health advocates pushing for Kansas to increase taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products are running into the same opposing arguments they did two years ago.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Opponents of allowing guns on Kansas campuses are not giving up their fight, despite a setback in a state Senate committee this week.

Kansas News Service/File photo

Advocates of expanding Medicaid in Kansas are trumpeting new poll numbers that show them gaining ground despite what appear to be long odds of success.

Kansas News Service/File

Some Kansas lawmakers hope allowing community-based rehabilitation programs to bill Medicaid for their services will help more people with mental illnesses find work.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Lawmakers in the Kansas House are considering Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan to help fill a budget hole by dissolving a state investment fund holding more than $300 million.

The proposal would pay back the money over seven years, but some legislators are skeptical they will make the payments.

Democratic Rep. Tom Burroughs says they delayed a payment to KPERS, the state pension plan, with the promise to pay it back. So far, that hasn’t happened.

Sam Zeff / Kansas News Service

Mothers, college professors, pastors, teachers and students packed a Capitol hearing room Thursday morning to make this plea to lawmakers: Roll back a law that in July will make it legal for almost anyone to carry a concealed gun on Kansas college campuses and in other public buildings.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas lawmakers seeking to keep university campuses, hospitals and government buildings off limits to firearms are facing a familiar argument from opponents.

Namely, that such restrictions infringe on the right to keep and bear arms protected by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“It’s a Second Amendment issue,” says Rep. John Whitmer, a Wichita Republican. “It’s a right to bear arms issue.”

Matthew Hodapp / KCUR

In what could be a blow to the road construction industry in Kansas, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) on Tuesday said it will only spend $44 million on new projects in the next fiscal year.

For the past several years KDOT has let about $400 million just on preservation projects, including roads and bridges.

wichita.edu

New figures from the Kansas Board of Regents spell out just how much each university, community college and technical college would lose if the Legislature chooses to cut its way to a balanced budget this year.

And it's a lot of money.

In total, all 37 institutions would lose out on a combined $52,546,469 dollars if lawmakers enact an across-the-board 6.95 percent cut.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas lawmakers are working to fill a $350 million budget hole in the current fiscal year that ends in June.

Members of a House committee wanted to know what it would take to erase the deficit using only spending cuts. A legislative report says state agencies would see a 7 percent budget reduction.

Republican Rep. Erin Davis requested the info. She says she’s not advocating for cutting Kansas spending, but she wanted to see what the option would look like.

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