Government

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

As the 2017 Kansas Legislature gavels in, Statehouse Blend Kansas is preparing for another year of political coverage.

Next week, we'll be hosting a live taping directly after the Governors' State of the State address on Jan. 10th in Topeka. Please, join us for that event at the Kansas Heath Institute Conference Center located at 212 SW 8th Ave #300, Topeka, KS 66603.

Flickr/Mark Warner

If someone you loved had a psychiatric emergency, would you know what to do?

Because many people wouldn’t, Kansas mental health advocates are pushing for the state to recognize psychiatric advance directives to guide care for patients in crisis who are unable to communicate. 

Kansas City, Kansas, Police

The man who killed Kansas City, Kansas, Police Detective Brad Lancaster in May 2016 pleaded guilty Tuesday.

In addition to capital murder, Curtis Ayers pleaded guilty to nine other counts in a crime spree that began when he shot 39-year-old Lancaster outside the Hollywood Casino May 9.

Ayers still faces charges in Leavenworth County, Kansas, and Jackson County, Missouri, where he was apprehended after a long chase.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

Ten more road projects in Kansas have been postponed indefinitely.

That’s in addition to the 24 that were put on hold last month.

“Yesterday we were informed that the 18 projects that were scheduled to be let in January, KDOT has reduced that down to eight,” says Bob Totten with the Kansas Contractors Association.

The cancelled road projects for December and January total more than $49 million. Kansas is facing a $348 million shortfall for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2017.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of Statehouse Blend Kansas, House Speaker nominee Ron Ryckman (R-Olathe) talks about school funding, taxes, and what he expects from the upcoming session.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of Statehouse Blend Kansas, newly elected Rep. Cindy Holscher (D-Overland Park) discusses the LLC tax loophole, Medicaid expansion, and school finance.

Guests:

  • Cindy Holscher, Representative (D-Overland Park), House of Representatives
  • Dan Margolies, Heartland Health Monitor Editor, KCUR

Courtesy Brooke Schreier Ganz

Back in February, a nonprofit group called Reclaim the Records filed requests for Missouri birth and death listings from 1910 through 2015.

The California-based outfit describes itself as a “group of genealogists, historians, researchers, and open government advocates who are filing Freedom of Information requests to get public data released back into the public domain.”

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of Statehouse Blend Kansas, newly elected Rep. Cindy Holscher (D-Overland Park) discusses the LLC tax loophole, Medicaid expansion, and school finance.

Guests:

  • Cindy Holscher, Representative (D-Overland Park), House of Representatives
  • Dan Margolies, Heartland Health Monitor Editor, KCUR

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of Statehouse Blend Missouri, House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty (D-Kansas City) talks about the House Democratic platform and where she hopes to find common ground with the Republican majority during the upcoming session.

Guests:

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas officials have lowered the forecast for future tax collections by hundreds of millions of dollars, creating a bleak budget picture. The state now faces a $350 million deficit in the current fiscal year and a nearly $600 million budget gap in the next fiscal year.

Sometimes when the revenue estimate is lowered, Republican Kansas Governor Sam Brownback immediately announces cuts to balance the budget. Brownback’s budget director, Shawn Sullivan, says they aren’t doing that this time.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of Statehouse Blend Kansas and Statehouse Blend Missouri, hosts Brian Ellison and Sam Zeff talk with KCUR's Peggy Lowe and Amy Jeffries about the future of the Kansas and Missouri Statehouses going forward after the 2016 elections.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this special elections episode of Statehouse Blend Kansas and Statehouse Blend Missouri, hosts Sam Zeff and Brian Ellison discuss results and us give an idea of where things stand in Kansas and Missouri.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of the Statehouse Blend Kansas podcast, KCUR reporter Elle Moxley and panelists Mark Tallman from the Kansas Association of School Boards and Dave Trabert, President of the Kansas Policy Institute, take an in-depth look at the future of education in Kansas.

This episode of Statehouse Blend Kansas was recorded live at the Johnson County Library Central Branch.

Wikimedia Commons

On this week's episode of the Statehouse Blend Missouri podcast, we get a local and national perspective on the tight race for the U.S. Senate between Republican incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt and Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, his Democratic challenger.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of Statehouse Blend Kansas, Rep. Russell Jennings (R-Lakin) discusses the 2016 election, guns on college campuses, education funding, and his campaign for speaker of the house.

Guests:

Redbull Trinker / Creative Commons-Flickr

Federal prosecutors are disputing a judge’s order directing the Justice Department to bear the costs of a special master who is examining whether recordings of attorney-client meetings at the Leavenworth Detention Center were illegal.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of the Statehouse Blend Missouri podcast, candidates for the 17th District Senate seat discuss the issues, a lawsuit one filed against the other and their campaigns as we approach the final weeks of the 2016 election season.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of the Statehouse Blend Missouri podcast, candidates for the 17th District Senate seat discuss the issues, a lawsuit one filed against the other and their campaigns as we approach the final weeks of the 2016 election season.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of the Statehouse Blend Kansas podcast, former Democratic Representative, Melody McCray-Miller, and former Gov. Bill Graves' Communications Director, Mike Matson, attempt to decode the political spin of this election season.

This episode of Statehouse Blend Kansas was recorded live at The Anchor in Wichita, Kan.

Guests:

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

The Johnson County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate the sexual assault of a female deputy abducted from a parking lot near the central booking facility Friday night.

Captain Brian Hill says it doesn't appear the woman was targeted because she was law enforcement.

"At our current point in our investigation, we don't have any evidence that she specifically was targeted," Hill said at a news conference Monday. "But again, we're two days into this. Some more information may become available that indicates otherwise."

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of Statehouse Blend Kansas, Senate President Susan Wagle (R-Wichita) discuss a new policy plan, education funding, and the upcoming elections.

Guests:

INTERCONTINENTAL KANSAS CITY AT THE PLAZA

A busy day for Kansas City councilmembers ended months of debate by cutting back the city’s economic development incentives while awarding money to two hotel projects.

Just two weeks ago, the council had deadlocked on the incentives measure and decided to delay a vote. On Thursday, the tide had shifted. The council voted 9-4 to approve the plan.

The ordinance caps tax incentives at 75 percent of a projects cost in most case. The exceptions include distressed areas and projects that do well on the AdvanceKC scorecard, providing things like high-paying jobs.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of the Statehouse Blend Missouri podcast, candidates for the House and Senate discuss running for office, elections, and policy.

Guests:

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle and Republican candidates for that chamber have released a series of policy proposals, which include the possibility of amending tax cuts made in recent years.

The plan includes overarching themes on topics such as balancing the budget, writing a new school funding formula and creating fairness in the tax code.

Wagle is working to harness voter frustration with the Legislature and the budget. She's laying out a message aimed squarely at those Kansans.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of the Statehouse Blend Missouri podcast, candidates for the House and Senate discuss running for office, elections, and policy.

Guests:

Joe Gratz / Creative Commons-Flickr

Does a prison’s failure to regard atheism as a “religious preference” violate the Constitution?

That’s the question raised by a former Missouri prisoner, who contended the failure of the Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC) to list “atheist” on prison intake forms violated his First Amendment rights.

The case was filed in federal court in Kansas City more than four-and-a-half years ago by Randall Jackson, a persistent DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) offender who served prison terms from 2006-08 and again from 2010-2014.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of Statehouse Blend Kansas, we discuss the political implications of the Gannon school funding case.

Guests:

Rendering courtesy of BNIM

After weeks of public hearings, the Kansas City Council was expected to vote Thursday on a tax incentive reform package

But debate on the floor, which lasted nearly two hours, resulted in a hold on the vote. 

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of the Statehouse Blend Missouri podcast, Rep. Joe Don McGaugh (R-Carrollton) talks about the 2016 veto session and the upcoming election.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of the Statehouse Blend Missouri podcast, Rep. Joe Don McGaugh (R-Carrollton) talks about the 2016 veto session and the upcoming election.

Guests:

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