Susan Wagle

Stephen Koranda / KPR

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.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

The president of the Kansas Senate says lawmakers should take a bigger role in crafting the budget.

The governor creates a Kansas budget proposal and delivers it to the Legislature at the start of the session. While the final budget bill is often significantly different, the governor gives legislators a starting point to work from.

Senate President Susan Wagle says lawmakers should do more and write their own budget plan from scratch.

Stephen Koranda

Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle and Republican candidates for that chamber have released a series of policy proposals, which include the possibility of amending tax cuts made in recent years.

The plan includes overarching themes on topics such as balancing the budget, writing a new school funding formula and creating fairness in the tax code.

Wagle is working to harness voter frustration with the Legislature and the budget. She's laying out a message aimed squarely at those Kansans.

Axelboldt/Wikipedia public domain

Kansas will join legal action against a federal directive that public schools allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced Wednesday that Kansas is challenging what he calls the Obama administration’s “unlawful efforts to unilaterally rewrite Title IX,” the 1972 federal law that bans discrimination in public schools on the basis of sex.

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.

Kansas lawmakers will be studying problems with a state software system. A committee will be meeting next month to start collecting information about the issues. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, Kansas has spent $14 million on the program.

The system is behind the public website for the Kansas Legislature and connects all the various departments and staff in the Statehouse. It’s also used for drafting and distributing bills and amendments.

KU Cancer Center Recognizes Wagle

Feb 7, 2013

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

Wagle Wins KS Senate President, Merrick Speaker

Dec 3, 2012

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.

Sen. Steve Abrams Running For Senate President

Oct 16, 2012

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.