Sam Brownback

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says he’s serving on the transition team for President-elect Donald Trump, but Kobach says he’s not angling for a job in the Trump administration.

Right now, Kobach says his focus is helping Trump’s team develop immigration policy proposals.

“Trying to put together a to-do list for the Trump team when they take office in January. The first 100 days, what’s going to get done, what are the top priorities, what are the orders that things should occur,” Kobach says.

Kobach says he is open to the idea of working for Trump.

Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

For Ashlyn Harcrow, the sound of the train whistle brings up all kinds of thoughts she’d like to avoid. Harcrow, 24, has been living at the Topeka Rescue Mission since July.

The nonprofit homeless shelter has helped her stabilize as she recovers from domestic violence and tries to improve her mental health amid post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

The election next week seems likely to shift the ideology of the Kansas Legislature. It appears there could be more Democrats and centrist-leaning Republicans. Stephen Koranda reports on how the governor and these new lawmakers might get along.

Gov. Sam Brownback told reporters this week that he would work with the new Kansas legislature, even if it’s ideologically different from now. Brownback points out how he worked with the previous moderate leadership in the Senate several years ago.

Andy Marso / KHI/File photo

New campaign finance reports are calling into question Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s insistence that he’s not involved in an effort to oust several Kansas Supreme Court justices.

Reports filed this week show that Brownback’s Road Map PAC contributed $65,000 to Kansans for Life in September and October, bringing the total since the first of the year to $110,300.

Stephen Koranda, File Photo / Kansas Public Radio

Gov. Sam Brownback is not taking a public stance on whether the state’s Supreme Court justices should be retained this election, but his political action committee has given thousands of dollars to a group fighting to oust four of the justices.

Programwitch / flickr Creative Commons

Our Kansas elections coverage team is taking questions (submit yours here). 

One question that seems to come up almost every election season is why people sometimes vote against their own best interests -- specifically their economic interests.

Diane Wahto of Wichita asked it this way:

“Why do Kansans often vote against their best interests? ... When we don't have money to fix the highways or fund social programs, who cares about those other things?”

KCUR

The state of Kansas incurred nearly $300,000 in legal fees in just three months to defend a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood challenging the state’s decision to boot the organization from the Medicaid program.

Invoices obtained by KCUR show that outside law firms representing the state billed it $282,477 in legal fees and $2,725 in expenses between May 29 and Aug. 31.

Jim McLean / Heartland Health Monitor

A coalition of Kansas health care providers, business organizations and local governments is stepping up its lobbying campaign for Medicaid expansion.

Just this week the coalition has staged media conferences in Wichita and Manhattan to push for the expansion of KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program.

In Manhattan, business leaders made the economic case for expansion. Kristin Brighton chairs the board of the area chamber of commerce.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Legislative researchers have found that the bond debt in Kansas has more than tripled since the late 1990s.

A chart they created shows the debt level stands at more than $5 billion for the 2017 fiscal year, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported. From fiscal year 1997 to 2017, the total amount of bond debt increased by 336.4 percent, or $3.8 billion, according to the chart.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Some high-ranking Republicans have said tax policy is on the table as lawmakers work to eliminate a state budget deficit. But as Stephen Koranda reports, they aren’t endorsing a tax increase.

Senate President Susan Wagle previously said all options for Kansas budget balancing are up for consideration.

This week, Gov. Sam Brownback said he’s not ruling anything out when it comes to the budget. But Brownback pushed for the tax cuts, and he is not saying he likes the idea of modifying them.

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