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.

Andy Marso / Kansas News Service

Kansas legislators heard concerns from law enforcement groups Wednesday about two immigration bills promoted by Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

Andy Marso / Kansas News Service

Two years after the Kansas Legislature enacted its first special tax on e-cigarettes, the state is still trying to figure out how to enforce it and retailers are still saying they’ll be put out of business if it’s enforced.

The tax — 20 cents per milliliter of vaping liquid — was tacked on to a larger bill at the end of the historically long and grinding 2015 session. There were no public hearings on the tax, which originally was supposed to go into effect in July 2016 but was pushed back to January 2017.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

The fight is raging on in Topeka over whether to roll back a law that would let almost anyone carry a concealed gun on a college campus or in a library or public hospital.

The debate has mostly been around whether guns enhance or detract from people’s safety.

Less talked about is just how much allowing guns on campuses could cost.

For one Kansas City area institution, it could run into the millions.

Most Kansas Board of Regents institutions have said they have little choice but to let people carry concealed weapons on university or community college campuses.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File Photo

The Kansas Senate is setting itself up for a wide-ranging floor debate this week on tax plans to end a series of annual budget deficits by raising more revenue.

Senate Vice President Jeff Longbine said the inability to privately rally 21 votes for a plan means it’s time to get ideas out in the open and see what rises to the top.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Not only is Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in the thick of the latest national debate over immigration policy, he remains under consideration for a high-level job in the Trump administration.

Amy Jeffries / KCUR

The campaign to fill CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s Kansas congressional seat is underway.

The election on April 11 will be the first congressional contest to be decided since President Donald Trump took office. Republicans near and far are treating it as an early test of the new president’s agenda.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Efforts to repeal major juvenile justice reforms passed in Kansas last year appear to have stalled.

The law passed last year is aimed at rehabilitating juvenile offenders closer to their families rather than in prisons or group homes that studies show often cause more problems than they solve.

But the law stripped prosecutors and judges of some discretion to impose stiffer sentences in some juvenile cases so those groups opposed the changes from the start.

Kansas News Service/ File Photo

A Kansas House committee overseeing budgets for social services offered appreciation to programs serving the elderly and people with disabilities or mental illnesses.

Legislators may not be able to offer much more than that.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

The message delivered to a legislative committee Thursday by opponents of expanding Medicaid eligibility in Kansas boiled down to this: Expansion has been a disaster in the states that have enacted it, so don’t do it.

Gregg Pfister, legislative relations director for the Florida-based Foundation for Government Accountability, ticked through a list of expansion states where costs and enrollment significantly exceeded projections.

Frank Morris / KCUR

Legislation aimed at helping the Kansas aviation industry has been grounded in Topeka.

The bill would have provided generous tax credits to engineering graduates who go to work in the Kansas aviation industry, as well as the companies that hire them.

Backed by the Wichita Chamber of Commerce as a way to reverse almost a decade of aviation job losses, it appeared to have some momentum.

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