Kansas Legislature

Updated Wednesday, 1:56 p.m.: Lawmakers dropped their push to try to pass a new school funding fix before the end of the 2016 session.

Original story:

Many Republican legislators are serious about defying a recent Kansas Supreme Court order on education funding and ready to test whether the justices would not allow public schools to open for the new academic year, the Senate's majority leader said Tuesday.

Stephen Koranda

Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle says lawmakers won't attempt this week to address the state Supreme Court's most recent ruling on education funding.

The Wichita Republican issued a statement Tuesday saying the state's attorneys have not had enough time to analyze the decision.

Lawmakers reconvene Wednesday to formally adjourn their annual session.

Wagle said she's consulted with Republican House Speaker Ray Merrick and GOP Gov. Sam Brownback about Friday's court decision and they've agreed on taking no action yet.

kslegislature.org

Republican Kansas Sen. Michael O’Donnell is running for a seat on the Sedgwick County commission instead of seeking re-election in the state Legislature.

O’Donnell announced Tuesday that he will seek the county's District 2 seat, which is currently held by Democrat Tim Norton. Norton says he intends to file for re-election.

O’Donnell has served in the Kansas Senate since 2013. Before that, he was on the Wichita City Council.

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 / Heartland Health Monitor/File photo

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.

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