Kansas Legislature

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Efforts to repeal major juvenile justice reforms passed in Kansas last year appear to have stalled.

The law passed last year is aimed at rehabilitating juvenile offenders closer to their families rather than in prisons or group homes that studies show often cause more problems than they solve.

But the law stripped prosecutors and judges of some discretion to impose stiffer sentences in some juvenile cases so those groups opposed the changes from the start.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas lawmakers have the tall order of writing a new school funding formula this year to replace temporary block grants. The work so far has been behind the scenes.

There have been school funding proposals introduced in the Kansas Legislature, but committees have yet to advance any plans.

Republican House Speaker Ron Ryckman says he wants something that’s sustainable and is predictable when it comes to costs for the state and funding for schools. Ryckman wants to have a plan in place by April, but that’s not a hard deadline.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

A tax and budget debate fizzled in the Kansas Senate Thursday, before it had even started. As Stephen Koranda reports, the situation reveals just how divided lawmakers have become as they work to solve the state's budget crisis.

Frank Morris / KCUR

Legislation aimed at helping the Kansas aviation industry has been grounded in Topeka.

The bill would have provided generous tax credits to engineering graduates who go to work in the Kansas aviation industry, as well as the companies that hire them.

Backed by the Wichita Chamber of Commerce as a way to reverse almost a decade of aviation job losses, it appeared to have some momentum.

Adapt Pharma

Kansas is one of three states that doesn’t allow first responders to carry a drug to reverse opioid overdoses.

Rep. Greg Lakin, a Republican from Wichita, wants to get the state off that exclusive list. A bill in the House Health and Human Services Committee would allow first responders to carry medication to reverse opioid overdoses.

Under current Kansas law, doctors can only prescribe overdose-reversing drugs to a person who is at risk of an overdose, such as someone using opioids for chronic pain.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

A Kansas Senate committee has advanced a bill that would update the information provided to a woman seeking an abortion.

The bill also specifies that the information must be printed in 12-point, Times New Roman font so it’s legible. It would add additional details about a physician’s credentials, insurance and any disciplinary actions against them.

Kathy Ostrowski with the group Kansans for Life says the change will give women more information about abortion providers.

Susie Fagan / Kansas News Service

One of the cornerstones of Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan to balance the budget is anticipated savings from a statewide health insurance pool for Kansas teachers.

The governor said that could save $40 million in the fiscal year that starts July 1 and $80 million a year after that.

But that’s not what the Legislative Post Audit Division discovered in its evaluation.

WSU Students And Faculty Protest Campus Carry Law

Feb 7, 2017
Hugo Phan / KMUW

Students and staff against a law allowing guns on college campuses held a demonstration on the Wichita State University campus Tuesday.

A small group gathered near the Rhatigan Student Center to speak out against guns on campus. The rally was called "Carry Minds, Not Guns."

Organizers spoke of the need to contact lawmakers, emphasizing that there is power in numbers. Freshman Ian Englebright says he thinks legislators in favor of the law are creating more problems than solutions.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

A Kansas Senate committee has advanced a bill that would repeal an income tax exemption for more than 300,000 business owners. That sends the proposal to the full Senate for consideration. The plan would also increase income tax rates overall.

Republican Sen. Julia Lynn supported the measure because she said the Legislature needs to make some progress on tax issues.

“This is a situation that has been floundering for four years. Although it might not be the best bill that’s put forward, it’s the beginning of a process,” Lynn said.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

A Kansas Senate committee started discussions on a bill Monday that would repeal a key piece of the 2012 tax cuts and raise personal income tax rates. A committee vote on the plan could come as soon as Tuesday.

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