KANSAS CITY, MO – The Kansas City, Missouri City Council has approved an amended version of a smoking ban initiative for an April public vote. If the group that collected the petition signatures doesn't approve the changes, both versions will be on the ballot.
Kansas City, MO – Steve Murdock became the first official demographer for the state of Texas in 2001. He uses population projections to advise the state government of Texas, and other states too, on everything from public education and health care to budget planning and economic growth. Texas is one of four states that are majority minority - where the combined population of all non-white groups is more than 50%, and Murdock says pretty soon, the whole country will look like Texas.
Kansas City, MO – In April, the Missouri House of Representatives assigned a special committee to research the effect of illegal immigration on the state. In early June, state officials told the committee that state services haven't seen much impact, but the picture in Kansas City is different. On Thursday, more than a dozen Kansas City officials and community leaders testified before the committee during a day-long forum at Penn Valley Community College. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross was there.
Kansas City, MO – On April 10, thousands of people gathered at Ilus Davis Park near City Hall to advocate for immigration reform that includes some kind of legalization for undocumented immigrants. A week later, a rally against illegal immigration drew several hundred people to Mill Creek Park, next to the Country Club Plaza. Many of the protestors there said they support legal immigration, but think existing laws are not being enforced by the government. Sylvia Maria Gross has more.
Kansas City, MO – The Missouri Senate debated a bill last week that would require voters to present photo identification at polling sites in order to vote. Some senators who proposed the bill say the measure will inspire confidence in Missouri's elections. Others, however, are reminded of the now-illegal voting restrictions of the past. Missouri is one of about 20 states that already require some kind of ID at the polls, six states call for photo IDs.
Kansas City, MO – A Kansas state representative introduced a bill on Tuesday to repeal the law that allows undocumented immigrants who live in Kansas to pay in-state tuition. The law passed in 2004, and 221 students are now enrolled in Kansas colleges and universities under its provisions. Sylvia Maria Gross reports.
WICHITA – The two major-party candidates for governor in Kansas have started sharpening their attacks on one another. Republican Tim Shallenburger and Democrat Kathleen Sebelius are now challenging each other's records on issues like taxes, education and crime. Kansas Public Radio's Peter Hancock has been following the campaigns and files this report.