Kansas Senate

Government
1:00 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Senate Passes Bill Requiring Drug Testing For Benefit Applicants

Kansas senators approved a bill Thursday that would require many of the state's elected officials and applicants for certain welfare benefits to undergo drug testing.

Applicants for Temporary Assistance to Need Families (or TANF) would undergo testing, as well as the governor, legislators and other state workers. Supporters say the measure is designed to help poor residents kick their addictions, get job training skills, and find employment. Opponents say the bill perpetuates the stereotype that poor people are also drug users.

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Government
1:51 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Senate VP Sponsors Bill To Drug Test State Aid Recipients

Credit Stephen Koranda

Supporters say a bill to require some recipients of state benefits to be tested for drug use will help people improve their lives, not punish them.

Senate Vice President Jeff King told the Commerce Committee Wednesday that the proposals in Senate Bill 149 will help those receiving assistance payments or unemployment benefits to receive treatment and find employment.

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Government
1:35 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Senate Committee Approves Gov. Brownback's Tax Plan

The Kansas Senate Assessment and Taxation committee endorsed most of Gov.  Sam Brownback's tax plan Tuesday.  The committee spent fewer than 10 minutes discussing the governor's proposals before approving the bill.  The legislation could move to the full senate for debate next week.

Gov. Brownback wants to phase out personal income taxes in Kansas over the next four years. The committee kept the governor's call to balance the tax cuts by making a temporary sales tax hike permanent. However, they cut his proposal to eliminate an income tax deduction for property taxes on homes.

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Senate
4:44 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

KU Cancer Center Recognizes Wagle

Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle was recognized at the Statehouse Thursday for her support of cancer research.

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Unions
3:12 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Committee Continues Hearings On Union Paycheck Bill

A Kansas Senate committee continued hearings Wednesday on a controversial bill affecting union paycheck deductions.

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Energy
1:29 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Renewable Fuel Mandate Could Get Deadline Extension

A Kansas Senate committee is debating whether to delay or change requirements that the state's utility companies use more renewable fuels.

The state required major utility companies to be able to generate 10 percent of their energy through a renewable source by 2011.

Those requirements would increase to 15 percent by 2016 and 20 percent by 2020.

The Senate committee on utilities is considering extending the 15 percent mandate to 2018 and the 20 percent requirement to 2024.

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Taxes
3:28 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Senate Committee Delays Work On Tax Plan

A Kansas Senate committee has delayed debate on Governor Sam Brownback's tax proposal. A mistake at the Statehouse printing office meant the scheduled debate was left off the official Senate calendar for Tuesday.

Senator Les Donovan, a Republican from Wichita, said he didn't want to work on the tax plan without letting the public know about it. Donovan added, though, that senators could use some more time to prepare for the debate.

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Government
10:50 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Incoming KS Senate Majority Leader Selects Staff

Incoming Kansas Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce has filled out his staff with a former congressional intern and an aide to the state House speaker.

Bruce chose Kara Evans to be his legislative director. Evans recently graduated with a bachelor of arts in political science and government from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa. Evans has worked as an intern for Republican U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas and James Inhofe of Oklahoma.

Bruce has also hired Katrina Abraham as his executive assistant. Abraham held the same position for outgoing House Speaker Mike O'Neal.

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Government
12:42 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Wagle Wins KS Senate President, Merrick Speaker

Kansas Republicans elected Susan Wagle Monday as the new president of the state Senate.

A veteran Wichita Republican, she is the first woman to lead either legislative chamber. Wagle defeated Steve Abrams of Arkansas City.

Johnson County Republican Ray Merrick is the new speaker of the Kansas House. Merrick won on a second ballot Monday over fellow Johnson County representative Arlen Siegfried.

When the session begins in January, Republicans will outnumber Democrats 32-8 in the Senate and 92-33 in the House.

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State Senate
2:09 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Sen. Steve Abrams Running For Senate President

State Senator Steve Abrams of Arkansas City says he plans to run for president of the Kansas Senate.

Abrams, a Republican who has represented the 32nd District since 2008, says he would champion conservative principles if he is chosen Senate president. He promised to insist on civility while working with Gov. Sam Brownback and the House to promote a conservative agenda.

State Senator Susan Wagle, a Republican from Wichita, also plans to run for Senate president, if she defeats Democrat Patrick Cantwell, also from Wichita, in the November 6 general election.

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