Kansas politics have been making national headlines over several controversial bills—and not in a good way. First, there was the one that appeared to make discrimination against same-sex couples legal. Then, there was the one trying to make it legal to spank children hard enough to leave marks.
On Monday'sUp to Date, we talk about those bills and how statehouse politics might affect this fall’s gubernatorial race.
Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick says he'll be working to focus the chamber on economic issues for the rest of the legislative session. Some controversial bills in the House have caught national attention and criticism in recent weeks.
Merrick, a Republican from Stillwell, Kan., says he can't stop members from filing bills, but he can try to get lawmakers back to what he calls the basics of making Kansas the “most business-friendly state in the country.”
Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 10:02 am
Although the state's previous drug supplier says it will not supply for the next execution, Missouri says it's found another willing pharmacy.
On Monday, the Apothecary Shoppe in Oklahoma reached a settlement with an inmate who had sued the pharmacy. Although the terms were confidential, the pharmacy agreed to not sell to Missouri for its upcoming execution.
In a court filing Wednesday evening, the state said inmate Michael Taylor was trying to cut off the supply of the state's execution drug.
A committee in the Kansas Legislature is considering a bill that would overhaul the state's retirement system.
The Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, or KPERS, covers thousands of state workers and local government employees like teachers. The proposal would switch KPERS to a 401(k)-style plan where employees manage their retirement benefits.
Currently, KPERS is a pension that pays benefits to a worker based on their salary and years of service. Right now, there's about a $10 billion long-term shortfall.
A resolution asking Congress to oppose President Obama’s climate action plan was under consideration in a Kansas House committee today where oil and gas lobbyists squared off against environmentalists and the human role in climate change was questioned by conservative GOP lawmakers unimpressed by the overwhelming consensus among scientists on that point.
A Jackson County grand jury has declined to file charges against a Kansas City, Mo., police officer in the 2013 shooting death of a firefighter.
The criminal case is closed in the Dec. 1, 2013, death of Anthony Bruno.
Bruno and the policeman struggled during a brawl leading to the shooting on a downtown street. There had been a dispute over cab fare outside Bruno’s wedding reception party. The pair fought and struggled on the pavement as the officer tried to arrest Bruno.
The full Kansas House could soon consider a bill cutting back local government firearm regulations. That comes after a House committee amended and approved the legislation on Wednesday. It would bar local governments from regulating the open carry of firearms and make other changes.
After 40 years with the Overland Park Police Department, Chief John Douglass is riding off into the sunset…sort of. He’s not ready for a quiet retirement just yet. Instead, he’s going back to school as the director of safety and for the Shawnee Mission School District next spring.
On Wednesday's Up to Date, we sit down with Douglass to discuss how policing Overland Park has changed over the years and the new challenges that await him in the coming months.
Former Grandview Mayor Stephen Dennis, who resigned without explanation last January, has plead guilty to wire fraud. The former mayor admitted Tuesday that he improperly used two checks worth $35,000.
In the second half of Wednesday's Up to Date, 41 Action News reporter Ryan Kath, who broke the story last month, joins us to discuss this turn of events and what it means for local politics.
Representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration told Kansas City's Airport Terminal Advisory Committee Monday that their agency wouldn't pay very much of the cost of building a new terminal. But a consultants report suggested a new terminal building might help pay for itself.
Sandwiches, coffee and soft drinks could help pay for a new terminal according to Garfield Eaton of transportation consultants Frasca & Associates. He says KCI finished in last place for concession revenues among 20 airports studied - about 66 cents for each departing passenger.
The former mayor of Grandview, Mo., pleaded guilty to wire fraud at U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., Tuesday.
Stephen Dennis’ voice rarely rose above a whisper as he told District Judge Howard Sachs he is guilty of taking two checks worth $35,000 from the International House Of Prayer for an illegal charity he’d set up. As part of an agreement with the U.S. Attorney, Dennis stipulated he used the money for himself and family. The organization was purported to be raising money for the poor and elderly in Grandview, Mo.
Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 9:23 am
(Updated 11:30 p.m. Mon., Feb. 10)
Eight months before the 2014 election, former Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway is announcing that she’s running for governor in 2016.
Hanaway’s decision wasn’t a surprise. But her timing was. A year ago, Hanaway had stated that she was considering such a bid. But her announcement did catch political insiders off guard because it was so early. Candidate filing has yet to begin for this fall’s elections.
Preparing for a week off to attend meetings of the Missouri Municipal League, Kansas City's city council moved ahead with programs to benefit the young and the elderly yesterday.
After establishing a commission of young people to advise the city on youth programs, such as those at community centers, the council turned its attention to a discounted non-profit taxi service for the elderly and blind persons.
Councilman John Sharp, a sponsor of the plan, called it "a great asset to our older citizens, some of whom are getting rather frail to drive."
Two bills that would each try to end the so-called “border war” among business interests in the Kansas City area were heard Wednesday by two Missouri legislative committees. The identical bills would bar incentives designed to poach businesses from Kansas to Missouri.
Backers of the two bills say the proposal would take effect only if Kansas enacts a similar law to discourage its businesses from luring companies on the Missouri side of the Kansas City area.