Susan Wagle

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Some lawmakers in Kansas aren’t happy Gov. Sam Brownback’s former chief of staff is the lobbyist for the company lined up to build a new state prison.

Top Democrats in the Kansas Legislature — along with the Republican Senate president, Susan Wagle — are calling for a law that would require people lobbying for state contracts to register that activity.

Just like they have to do when they’re lobbying for legislation. David Kensinger, Brownback’s former chief of staff, is registered as a lobbyist for prison contractor CoreCivic.

Dan Skinner / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

A Missouri nonprofit has released a list of recommendations it says will help combat and prevent sexual harassment at the Kansas Statehouse.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Republican Senate President Susan Wagle says she’s considering a run for either Kansas governor or for the 4th District congressional seat in the Wichita area.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

The president of the Kansas Senate says a new school funding formula needs to focus on the quarter of students who are at-risk and not meeting state standards. And simply adding money to a funding formula won’t solve the problem, she says.

Sen. Susan Wagle, a Republican from Wichita, says the federal Head Start program is a good model on how to help at-risk children.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is firing back against claims made by a top lawmaker this week regarding his future political plans.

Republican Senate President Susan Wagle said Brownback might not be focused on the state’s budget problems, because he might be focused on a possible job in the administration of President-elect Donald Trump.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Gov. Sam Brownback has given few details about what he'll propose to balance the Kansas budget. The leader of the state Senate is raising concerns that Brownback's future political plans could be influencing his decisions.

J. Schafer / KPR/File photo

Kansas voters want change for the 2017 session: They made that clear by replacing a couple dozen conservative Republican legislators with Democrats and more moderate Republicans. The newly elected lawmakers gather today to select their leadership.

The leadership selections will be an early indication of how much the balance of power has really changed in the Statehouse.

For speaker of the House, the race is between a moderate -- Republican Russ Jennings from Lakin in southwest Kansas -- and two conservatives -- Ron Ryckman Jr. of Olathe, and Jene Vickery of Louisburg.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

It’s a campaign without ads. There are no TV spots or mailers. The only people voting are the 165 Kansas lawmakers choosing their new leaders.

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.

Stephen Koranda / KPR, File Photo

We’re almost three months away from the next Kansas Legislative session, and the top Republican in the Senate is already predicting overtime.

There will be a monster agenda facing lawmakers when they return to Topeka in January.

The state is already $60 million in the hole, and that is likely to worsen. So legislators will have to raise taxes, cut budgets or both.

Senate President Susan Wagle is expected to be reelected to the chamber. On KCUR’s podcast Statehouse Blend, she says there’s too much work for the allotted time.

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