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.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Gov. Sam Brownback and lawmakers are divided on a business tax exemption. Lawmakers sent the governor a bill repealing the exemption and raising other taxes to balance the budget, but Brownback vetoed it. The issue of business taxes might continue to be a sticking point in the tax debate.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Members of the Kansas congressional delegation are under fire — like many of their colleagues across the country — for ducking town-hall meetings with their constituents.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Kansas lawmakers are regrouping on the issue of taxes. This week, Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed a tax increase that would have helped balance the budget.

Kansas Senate leaders have been frustrated after Brownback announced he would veto the tax bill, which would have rolled back many of his signature 2012 tax cuts. 

“The House leadership and the Senate leadership asked the governor that if he was going to veto the bill, that he give us a budget plan that we can vote for in the House and the Senate," Senate President Susan Wagle said. "That didn’t come."

Meg Wingerter / Kansas News Service/File photo

Correct Care Solutions, a Tennessee-based company that is the sole bidder for a contract to operate Osawatomie State Hospital, has a history of safety problems at the state psychiatric facilities it runs in Florida.

Officials with the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) declined to provide details this week on Correct Care’s bid to operate Osawatomie State Hospital, one of two state facilities for people deemed a danger to themselves or others.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

The Kansas House has approved a bill that would expand the Medicaid health care program in Kansas to include people making 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Expanding KanCare would potentially offer health insurance for thousands of low-income Kansans.

The legislation passed on an 81-44 vote, but must still go through the Senate and face a possible veto from Gov. Sam Brownback, who has been a critic of Medicaid expansion. Republican Rep. Susan Concannon says supporters are not deterred.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

This is the second in a two-part series on KanCare. Listen to part one here.

Kansas was out in front of just about every other state in 2013 when it fully privatized its Medicaid program and renamed it KanCare.

The switch to managed care was one of the first big policy changes made by Gov. Sam Brownback, who promised it would both improve health care and lower costs.

KanCare was immediately controversial.

Kansas News Service file photo

Update Thursday, 11:23 a.m.: In final action, House Bill 2064 passed the House 81-44. It now goes on to the Senate.

Supporters of expanding Medicaid eligibility to more low-income Kansans succeeded Wednesday in a last-gasp effort to advance a bill, overpowering opponents who thought they had blocked it earlier in the week.

Andy Marso / Kansas News Service/File photo

KanCare is a $3 billion program that provides health insurance to more than 425,000 Kansans — complex and bureaucratic by its nature.

And lately it seems the privatized Medicaid program has drawn more than its share of complaints from Kansas medical providers, beneficiaries and applicants.

Some are the result of a switch in 2013 to management not by the state but instead by three private insurance companies, while others stem from court rulings or policymaker decisions.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Editor's note: This post was updated at 4:34 p.m.

The Kansas Senate failed Wednesday to override Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of a bill that would have rolled back big portions of his signature 2012 tax cuts. 

Lawmakers voted 24-16 against the effort to overturn the veto. Supporters were three votes short of the two-thirds majority of 27 votes needed in the 40-member chamber. The vote came hours after legislators in the House had voted, by a narrow margin, to override the veto.

Andy Marso / Kansas News Service

Kansas House members on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a bill that would have increased the amount they could get from campaign donors.

House Bill 2011 would have doubled the amount that individuals, political parties and political action committees could donate to candidates in races for everything from the House and Senate to the governor. But the House voted it down 22-101.

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