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.

Meg Wingerter / Kansas News Service

Editor’s note: Kansas privatized its foster care system in 1997, after a lawsuit revealed widespread problems. Twenty years later, the number of Kansas children in foster care has shot up — by a third in just the last five years — and lawmakers are debating whether the system once again needs serious changes. The Kansas News Service investigated problems in the system and possible solutions. This is the second story in a series.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Updated Monday at 10:18 p.m.

Lawmakers in the Kansas House rejected a bill Monday that would have rolled back much of the state’s 2012 tax cuts. The vote came on the fifth anniversary of the tax cuts being signed into law.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Lawmakers in the Kansas House have twice rejected efforts to hold a debate on the issue of concealed weapons in public buildings, but the issue could keep popping up.

J. Schafer / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Kansas Lawmakers aren’t yet in record territory, but they’re facing challenges that could make the 2017 session among the longest ever.

Lawmakers must close a budget gap that now stands just south of $1 billion -- and increase funding for public schools by enough to get them off the hook with the Kansas Supreme Court.

Big challenges, but particularly tough now for a couple of reasons: First is the mismatch between conservative Republican leaders and a majority coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas House and Senate negotiators continue to struggle as they work on a tax plan to help balance the state budget. Thursday, talks stalled on a bill that would fully reverse the tax cuts pushed by Gov. Sam Brownback.

Peter Taylor / flickr Creative Commons

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered an investigation into whether federal prosecutors have been using recordings of attorney-client meetings at Leavenworth prison illicitly.

In a blistering 48-page order, U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson wrote that there are “grave concerns about government intrusion into attorney-client communications.”

Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas legislative leaders working on a plan to end the 2017 session have what amounts to a chicken-and-egg dilemma.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Business officials lined up Wednesday against a plan to impose sales taxes on certain services. Lawmakers in the Kansas Senate are considering the tax changes to help balance the budget and lower the sales tax on food. Under the bill, which already passed the House, services like towing, some pet care and debt collection would be subject to sales tax.

File Photo / KCUR

Gov. Sam Brownback’s approval rating among Kansans continues to flounder and ranks lower than that of President Donald Trump, according to the spring Kansas Speaks survey released Tuesday.

The survey, published twice a year by the Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State University, found that Brownback has an approval rating of 21 percent, while 56 percent said they are “very dissatisfied” with him. The very dissatisfied number is down from the 62 percent the governor received a year ago.

Kansas News Service/File photo

  

A former Kansas legislator who also served as the state agriculture secretary and as a senior official in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is running for governor.

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