It's looking more like Kansas lawmakers may not work through the weekend to finish the legislative session and could instead leave and return next week. It's getting to the point where lawmakers may not be able to finish by the end of the weekend, even if agreements on taxes and the budget are reached soon.
After a budget compromise is formed, there's a delay to prepare the bill before the chambers can vote on it. Senate President Susan Wagle, a Republican from Wichita, says it would be a stretch to wrap up the session this weekend.
After making little progress for weeks, public negotiations on taxes have continued in the Kansas Statehouse. Legislative leaders and the governor had been meeting behind closed doors, but this week it appeared those talks had stalled. House and Senate negotiators held a public meeting Wednesday, and House members offered a new compromise.
The chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court and a prominent legislator are butting heads. At issue are allegations made the the justice. He says the legislator, who's an attorney, tried to make a deal tying a pay raise for court workers to a constitutional amendment.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback is set to sign a proclamation Monday to raise awareness of the need for foster care homes in the state. There's also an event planned on the Statehouse grounds where the Department for Children and Families will provide more information about how Kansas families can get involved in foster care. Gina Meier-Hummel, with the department, says there is a shortage of foster homes.
The House Appropriations Committee has approved an amended version of Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposal to issue more bonds for a federal lab in Manhattan. They delayed a decision Wednesday on the governor's proposal to help fund the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility, but after a briefing from Brownback's chief of staff, the committee approved the plan for $200 million in bonds.
Lawmakers just returned to the Statehouse after a break, but already it looks like a disagreement on taxes could push the session past the 80 day deadline. To meet the 80 day mark they'd have to be done early next week, but House and Senate Republicans disagree on whether to extend a temporary sales tax increase. It's set to expire later this year, and House leaders want to let it end as planned.
A new report projects an increase in the rate of job growth in Kansas this year. There are some economic forces that could temper that growth in the future.
The report from Wichita State University Center for Economic Development and Business Research projects modest job growth in Kansas this year. It’s driven partially by the energy, construction and services sectors.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback visited the University of Kansas campus yesterday, where he met with school officials and student leaders as part of a tour promoting higher education in the state.
Brownback called KU a "great innovation institution" and highlighted its role in the Kansas economy.
“We’ve really got some momentum moving forward in job creation off of our universities, providing excellence in education, which is a primary issue for us, and we want to keep that momentum growing,” said Brownback.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has signed into law a bill to combat human trafficking and exploitation of underage sex workers.
The governor signed the bill Monday saying it will provide increased criminal penalties and services for victims of sexual exploitation.
“This will not only strengthen our ability to severely punish traffickers, but it will give us valuable new tools to protect vulnerable young victims so they can have hope of a new life and break the cycle of exploitation,” says Brownback.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback will start a tour of the state's universities this week to pitch his funding proposal to lawmakers.
Brownback is pushing for mostly level funding for colleges and universities with some targeted increases, but legislators are considering cuts. Brownback says higher education has a connection to economic growth in Kansas.
Kansas Board of Regents members say they will study the issue of allowing guns on campuses, but for now they'll continue barring concealed weapons.
A bill signed into law this week by the governor would allow legally carried concealed weapons in most public buildings, unless the buildings meet certain security requirements. The new law takes effect July 1st, but universities can exempt themselves from the requirement for four years.
Regent Fred Logan says they don't have time to thoroughly study the issue by July 1st.