Stephen Koranda

Stephen Koranda is the Statehouse Bureau Chief for Kansas Public Radio.


12:12 pm
Wed October 28, 2009

Kansas Lawmakers Propose Amendment To Block Federal Health Overhaul

Topeka, KS – Three Republican lawmakers in Kansas are proposing a constitutional amendment they say would protect patients' rights to consult with their own doctors on health care decisions.

State Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook and House members Peggy Mast and Brenda Landwehr held news conferences yesterday to announce what they call the "Health Care Freedom Amendment."

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12:59 pm
Tue October 27, 2009

Commission Recommends Closing Facility For Disabled

Topeka, KS – A Kansas commission is pushing for closing a state facility for the developmentally disabled. Members of the Facilities Closure and Realignment Commission voted to recommend shuttering the Kansas Neurological Institute in Topeka, known as KNI.

9:47 am
Thu October 22, 2009

Kansas Searches For Education Commissioner

Topeka,KS – The Kansas Board of Education is kicking off its search for a new state education commissioner.

The Board of Education is calling on a national group to help find a new commissioner. The National Association of State Boards of Education will advertise the position across the country and collect candidates.

Kansas Board of Ed Chair Janet Waugh says they'll need to search a wide area, because the right candidate will need a variety of skills.

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8:26 am
Wed October 14, 2009

Economist Says Kansas Could Save Money By Switching To 401k

Topeka, KS – The Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, or KPERS, is facing a multi-billion dollar shortfall in coming years. Yesterday , the Kansas House Appropriations Committee heard about changes that some economists believe could save the state money.

A University of Kansas economist told legislators they could quickly start a new 401(k)-style pension plan for teachers and government workers.

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9:57 am
Tue October 13, 2009

Kansas House Committee Eyes School Consolidation

Topeka, KS – The Kansas House Appropriations Committee is looking at consolidating public school districts as a way to help the state save cash and make it through the budget crunch. Statehouse Reporter Stephen Koranda has more.

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9:07 am
Mon October 12, 2009

Kansas Looks At Next Generation 911

Topeka, KS – A group of lawmakers is looking at ways to update the emergency 911 system in Kansas. Statehouse Reporter Stephen Koranda has more.

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8:01 am
Wed October 7, 2009

Kansas Could Be Major Player In Wind Power

Wind turbines in Kansas.

Topeka, KS –
With demand for so-called "green energy" likely to increase in the future, Kansas could become a major player in renewable energy. That's because Kansas is one of the windiest states. This week in Topeka the annual Wind and Renewable Energy Conference is exploring how Kansas can become a bigger part of the wind power industry.

Click on the link to liste to Stephen Koranda's story.

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6:30 am
Tue October 6, 2009

KU Breaks Ground On Bioscience Building

Lawrence, KS – University of Kansas officials, politicians and industry leaders broke ground Monday on a new Bioscience and Technology Business Center on the KU campus.

The 20,000 square foot facility is aimed at growing life science industry in Kansas.

The $7.25 million incubator will provide space for space and high tech equipment for new bioscience companies.

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7:16 am
Mon October 5, 2009

Hospitals Restrict Visitors To Slow Swine Flu

Topeka, KS – Concerns over swine flu have some Kansas hospitals revamping policies to try and slow the spread of the disease. Stephen Koranda has more.

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9:10 am
Fri October 2, 2009

Kansas Considering DUI Courts

Topeka, KS – A Kansas commission is looking at ways to improve the state's drunk driving laws. The DUI Commission heard how a specialized court could more efficiently deal with offenders.

DUI courts offer supervision and treatment for offenders- instead of jail time for offenders. David Wallace is director of the National Center for DWI Courts, and he says keeping offenders out of jail can save cash, and the courts can help reduce the number of costly trials.

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7:31 am
Thu October 1, 2009

Kan. Revenues Fall Below Estimates

Topeka, KS – September may have been a bad month for the Kansas budget as corporate and income taxes fell below estimate.

Kansas officials say the state's revenues in September came in $67 million below expectations. So far in the fiscal year that began July 1, state revenues are $65 million below the forecasts that formed the basis for the state budget.

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7:06 am
Wed September 30, 2009

Swine Flu Vaccinations Likely To Start Next Week

Topeka, KS – Kansas health officials announced today that the state will receive its first shipment of swine flu vaccine in the coming days.

Vaccinations should begin next week for the initial target groups, which include pregnant women, young children and health care workers.

The first allotment will be 16,000 doses.

State Health Director Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips says this is just a small step towards meeting the needs of the most vulnerable groups.

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1:19 am
Tue September 29, 2009

Kan. Commission Considers Closing State Mental Health Facilities

Topeka, KS – A Kansas commission is looking at possibly closing one or both of the state's two institutions for the mentally and developmentally disabled. Yesterday at the statehouse, the commission heard comments from those who might be affected. KPR Statehouse Reporter Stephen Koranda has more.

1:52 pm
Fri September 25, 2009

Lawmakers Push For Medicaid Fraud Investigation

Topeka, KS – Two state lawmakers are asking the Kansas Attorney General to investigate the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, or SRS, for possible Medicaid fraud.

KPR Statehouse Reporter Stephen Koranda has more.

10:16 am
Wed September 2, 2009

Kan. Governor's Council: Cutting Obesity Rates Could Save Tax Dollars

Topeka, KS – Members of the Governor's Council on Fitness are working to tackle obesity in Kansas, and that could help the state budget's bottom line.

KPR Statehouse Reporter Stephen Koranda has more.

3:04 pm
Tue September 1, 2009

Kan. Governor May Consider Cigarette Tax Increase

Topeka KS – It could cost more for Kansas smokers to light up in the future.

Today, Governor Mark Parkinson said he'll consider a tobacco tax increase in the coming legislative session if state tax revenues don't improve.

"If we don't need to increase revenue, if we can meet our budgetary needs without increasing taxes, we won't increase tobacco taxes just for the sake of increasing them," Parkinson said. "But if we need the revenue, we'll look at it."

Some estimates have put next fiscal year's budget deficit at more than 500 million dollars.

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9:23 am
Wed August 19, 2009

Kan. Medicaid Rolls, Costs Could Expand Under US House Proposal

Topeka, KS – Federal health care legislation could expand the Medicaid program, possibly costing states like Kansas more tax dollars.

Medicaid provides health services for more than 200,000 aged, disabled, or low-income Kansans.

Legislation in the U.S. House would raise the maximum income allowed to be eligible for the program.

Andy Allison, Director of the Kansas Health Policy Authority, explained that could affect Kansas more than other states because Kansas has tight income standards for covering some groups.

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2:41 pm
Fri August 14, 2009

Tiahrt Fields Healthcare Questions

Topeka, KS – More than 300 Kansans packed a health care town hall meeting in Topeka yesterday. KPR Statehouse Reporter Stephen Koranda was there.

5:30 pm
Wed August 12, 2009

Rep. Lynn Jenkins Talks Healthcare At Topeka Forum

Topeka, KS – Republican Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins told a crowd of 200 people gathered in Topeka today that the health care reform proposals being debated on capital hill are too costly and allow too much government intrusion.

Jenkins, who was speaking at a town hall meeting on health reform, drew applause from the crowd when she criticized the plan.

JENKINS: "I've said this from the beginning, that I can't support any plan - any plan - that puts bureaucrats or politicians in between you and your physician."

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11:07 am
Tue August 11, 2009

Kan. Board Of Education Preparing For Swine Flu

Topeka, KS – The Kansas Board of Education is working on recommendations for dealing with swine flu during the coming school year.Yesterday, board members were briefed on strategies for slowing the disease. KPR Statehouse Reporter Stephen Koranda has more.

Yesterday, State Health Officer Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips briefed the Board on ways to slow the spread of the disease. He says they should develop plans that won't require closing schools if the flu isn't widespread.

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Tracking NBAF
11:38 am
Mon July 27, 2009

GAO Report Raises Questions About NBAF In Kansas

A report from the Government Accountability Office questions how the Department of Homeland Security determined the safety of six sites for a proposed animal disease research lab. Manhattan, Kan., was selected as the site for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, or NBAF.

A draft report argues DHS used poor techniques to determine how diseases would spread if they were accidentally released.

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