Kansas government

A spokesperson for the Kansas Department for Children and Families says the agency plans to heed Gov. Sam Brownback’s call for cutting $3.9 million from its fiscal year 2015 budget by delaying a planned upgrade of its computer system.

The savings should cover “almost all of our anticipated FY 2015 reduction,” DCF spokesperson Theresa Freed said in an email, referring to the state’s current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2015.

Delaying the upgrade, she said, will have “no impact” on the department’s services for at-risk children and low-income families.

When Gov. Sam Brownback announced this week a list of stopgap measures to close a $280 million budget hole, one of the biggest chunks was $55 million from a “Kansas Department of Health and Environment Fee Fund Sweep” made possible in part by a federal law the governor has strenuously opposed and criticized.

The $55 million comes from a Medicaid drug rebate program that was expanded as part of the federal Affordable Care Act.

Native American women living on reservations suffer from some of the highest rates of violent crime, per capita, in the world. Yet tribal courts are often limited in their authority to address the issue. Sarah Deer, a KU Law alum with Muscogee roots, recently received a MacArthur grant for her efforts to bridge the gap between federal and tribal law, and to empower tribes to protect their women. 

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A spokesperson for the Kansas Department for Children and Families on Tuesday said that Deputy Secretary Kathe Decker and Prevention and Protection Services Director Brian Dempsey have left the agency.

Anna Pilato, director of the department’s divisions for strategic development and community and faith-based initiatives, is due to leave later this month.

Beginning in January, more than 80 percent of workers currently eligible for part-time benefits in the Kansas state employee health plan will be eligible for full-time benefits under changes mandated by the federal Affordable Care Act.

Keith Ivey / Flickr-CC

The campaigning is getting intense in the last week before this year's general election. From the fierce Senate and governor's races in Kansas to a handful of constitutional amendments over the state line in Missouri, there's a lot of information to plow through on your way to the ballot box.

On Monday's Up to Date, we explore some of the key issues of these races.

Guests

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Kansas with fraud Monday for failing to inform purchasers of state bonds about underfunding of the state employees pension fund.

The charges centered on the sale of $273 million in bonds in 2009 and 2010.

The Brownback administration quickly released a statement saying that the risk  disclosure is now being made and strides have been made toward better pension system funding.

Kansas City securities attorney Diane Nygard says though the SEC did not issue a fine the problem is not completely solved.

MyTudut / Flickr-CC

This morning, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that a lower court will deal with what it called unconstitutional inadequate funding for the state's K-12 schools.

On Friday's Up to Date, we take a look at what the 110-page ruling will mean for school funding, how the lower court might handle the the details and how all this affects this fall's race for the governor's office.

Guests:

Loretta Prencipe/ Flickr-CC

A new Kansas statute requires proof of citizenship before voting in an election for the first time. The controversial legislation has many people divided. 

 This hour, Kris Kobach, known for his influence on immigration law, and author Alvaro Vargas Llosa join Steve Kraske to discuss policy and reform.  

Ben Stanfield

How much power is too much when it comes to the hallowed fields of college sports?


Three years ago the Kansas legislature passed a one-cent sales tax with the intention of removing it at a later date.

Lawmakers and officials in Kansas seem to be unclear on what some of the laws on that state's books actually mean.

A panel of three federal judges last week issued new political maps for Kansas. New boundary lines were issued for members of Congress, the state Senate, the state House and the Kansas Board of Education.

The Kansas House has surprised the Senate by bypassing a compromise tax-cut plan while the Senate was preparing to vote on it.