Kansas News Service

KMUW's Kansas News Service reports on health, education and politics across the state. The service is a collaboration between KMUW, KCUR and Kansas Public Radio.

Gage Skidmore, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s long-rumored move to a position in President Donald Trump’s administration is no longer rumor.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

Health care advocates say they’ll keep the pressure on Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran as debate moves forward on a possible repeal of Obamacare. Moran voted to go ahead with debate on a health care overhaul, but in the past he’s voiced concerns about Medicaid cuts.

Related: Moran Explains Position On Obamacare Repeal After Vote Against Bill

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service/File photo

This post was updated Wednesday at 10 a.m. to reflect the results of Tuesday night's Senate vote.

Despite misgivings about the closed-door process used to write a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and its potential impact on rural health care providers, Republican U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran joined his Kansas counterpart, Pat Roberts, in voting Tuesday to begin debate on the legislation.

But a short time later, Moran was one of nine GOP senators who voted against a replacement bill backed by Republican leaders.

Kansas News Service/File photo

A fresh legal challenge to the state’s 2014 elimination of teacher job protections has reached the Kansas Supreme Court, close on the heels of a separate lawsuit that proved unsuccessful six months ago.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

A federal judge has ruled that the president’s election commission, vice chaired by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, can go ahead with its effort to collect voter data from states.

Kobach requested every state send detailed voter information to the federal Election Integrity Commission, including names, birthdays, and voting history.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center wanted to block the data collection. Some states have said they won’t comply, citing privacy and security concerns.

Michael Coghlan, flickr Creative Commons

Staffing shortages at the El Dorado Correctional Facility are creating unsafe working conditions, according to the head of the union that represents state workers.

Robert Choromanski, executive director of the Kansas Organization of State Employees, has filed a formal grievance with Secretary of Corrections Joe Norwood, alleging that prison officials are “coercing” guards to work a weekly 16-hour shift to ensure adequate staffing.

The unemployment rate remains low in Kansas, but the state has been shedding private sector jobs in recent months.

Numbers from the Kansas Department of Labor show private sector jobs were climbing from January to March. But according to a new monthly report, the state began losing private sector jobs -- more than 11,000 of them from March to June.

Manufacturing jobs fell over that period, but not nearly as much as service sector jobs. The area that sagged the most includes the support jobs for organizations, such as office administration, personnel services and cleaning.

Dan Margolies / KCUR

KU Medical Center on Thursday officially opened its new health education building, an $82 million, 170,000-square-foot facility that will serve as the primary teaching venue for its medical, nursing and allied health profession schools.

The state-of-the-art building, at the northeast corner of Rainbow Boulevard and 39th Street, was funded with $26 million in state money, $21 million from the University of Kansas Medical Center, $25 million from the Hall Family Foundation and the rest in additional private money.

Bloomsberries, flickr Creative Commons

A lawsuit challenging Kansas’ civil commitment of sexually violent predators has been dismissed. The plaintiffs remain involuntarily confined at Larned State Hospital.

Since 1994, Kansas has required that people found to be sexually violent, and likely to reoffend, be involuntary confined in a state facility and undergo treatment.

The 20-plus patients who sued claimed high staff turnover and inadequate access to treatment made it extremely difficult to complete the program, and had left them in indefinite confinement in prison-like conditions.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Hackers who breached a Kansas Department of Commerce data system used by multiple states gained access to more than 5.5 million Social Security numbers and put the agency on the hook to pay for credit monitoring services for all victims.

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