Kansas Legislature

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

On this week's Statehouse Blend, reporters from the Kansas Statehouse dissect what we've seen so far and what we can expect as the session heads into overtime. 

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Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Sen. Kay Wolf from Prairie Village, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka. 

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Republican Kansas Rep. John Rubin from Shawnee, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka. 

This is an excerpt from Statehouse Blend. You can listen to the full episode here.

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A Kansas House committee has voted to undo part of the tax cuts pushed by Gov. Sam Brownback. The committee voted to reinstate some business income taxes, which were completely eliminated by the 2012 tax cut.

Republican Rep. Mark Hutton says the current law creates an unfair system and may not be spurring much job growth.

“I would argue, as a business owner, that the federal code takes precedent far ahead of any consideration that I get from the state on this issue,” says Hutton.

Kansas Legislature

Republican Kansas Rep. John Rubin from Shawnee, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka. 

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Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Kansas Rep. Nancy Lusk from Overland Park, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka. 

You can listen to the full podcast here.

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The ride-hailing service Uber has suspended operation in Kansas. That comes after lawmakers voted to override the governor’s veto of a bill that puts new regulations on Uber and similar services. The bill adds new insurance mandates and requires background checks for drivers.

In a statement, Uber says Kansas shut them down, cost jobs and blocked consumer choice. Senate President Susan Wagle calls Uber’s decision to halt service “political theatre.”

Sen. Jeff Longbine says they pursued the override as a solid base for negotiations.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Kansas Rep. Nancy Lusk from Overland Park, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka. 

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Democrat Kansas Rep. Jim Ward from Witchita, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka. 

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Kansas Legislature / Kansas Legislature

Democrat Kansas Rep. Jim Ward from Wichita, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka. 

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New revenue numbers in Kansas have dipped again, leaving lawmakers with a budget shortfall in the hundreds of millions of dollars. On this edition of Up To Date, we talk about what led to the larger than expected deficit, and what Kansas lawmakers can do to close it. 

Guests:

  • Bryan Lowry is with the Topeka bureau of The Wichita Eagle.
  • Duane Goossen served as the Kansas Budget Director from 1998 to 2010.
Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Rep. Stephanie Clayton from Overland Park, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka. 

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Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

There’s probably not an educator in Kansas who isn’t waking up this morning with a bit of queasiness.

Monday is the day of the consensus revenue estimate, an awful bureaucratic phrase that has far reaching, real-world effects.

Economists from state government and academia will lock themselves in a room in Topeka and they will look into the future.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Rep. Stephanie Clayton from Overland Park, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka. 

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Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Kansas Rep. Jarrod Ousley from Merriam, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka. 

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Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Kansas Rep. Jarrod Ousley from Merriam, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka. 

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A lawmaker in the Kansas House warns that a campus religious freedom bill could attract national attention like the type that has been aimed at Indiana recently.

The Kansas bill would bar colleges from taking action against religious student groups that want to exclude people from their organization.

Republican Rep. Stephanie Clayton urged her colleagues to vote against the bill in a House committee.

“If we pass this, we might face national backlash. It could have an adverse effect on the Kansas economy,” says Clayton.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

On this week's Statehouse Blend, what we've seen so far in the Kansas Legislative session, and what we can expect when we return from spring break. 

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Democrat Kansas Rep. Dennis "Boog" Highberger from Lawrence, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka. 

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Nine Republican lawmakers in the Kansas House have filed a complaint against a Democratic representative over comments she made in a committee meeting.

The complaint says Rep. Valdenia Winn used “inflammatory” language. An investigation will start Wedesnday.

Winn’s comments came during a meeting in March. The committee was debating a bill that would affect some college students in Kansas who are in the country illegally. The bill would have ended a program that allows those students to pay in-state tuition. Here’s Winn commenting on the bill, and you’ll also hear Republican Rep. John Barker. 

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Kansas Rep. Dennis "Boog" Highberger from Lawrence, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka. 

Guests:

Brad Wilson / Flickr-CC

Not 12 hours after Gov. Sam Brownback signed legislation that would fund public schools in Kansas with block grants, the law has been challenged in court.

The motion was filed in Shawnee County District Court by several schools districts, including Kansas City, Kan., which have sued the state claiming it is under funding K-12 public education.

The motion alleges the block grant law violates the Kansas Constitution because it freezes funding for the next two years. A three-judge panel has ruled that the state failed to provide enough money to adequately educate students. 

Sam Zeff / KCUR

It's hard to keep up with how schools in Kansas might be funded.

First it was a debate over block grants. Now it's a new plan that's mostly based on graduate outcomes.

The new funding formula legislation is a result of months of meetings between Sen. Steve Abrams of Arkansas City, chairman of the senate Education Committee, and educators from around the state.

It would base funding on student population and factors such as poverty, something superintendents and school board members stressed was important.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Rep. Tom Phillips from Manhattan, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka.

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A bill that scraps the school funding system in Kansas has passed the Legislature and is heading to the governor’s desk for consideration. The Senate voted 25-14 to concur with a bill that had previously passed the Kansas House. It would temporarily create a block grant system while lawmakers write a new funding formula.

Supporters of the bill say it has $300 million in new funding and gives Kansas schools more flexibility. Republican Senate President Susan Wagle says the bill lets them start over and ditches a school funding formula she calls “broken.”

Kansas Legislature

Republican Kansas Rep. Barbara Bollier from Mission Hills, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka.

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Republican Kansas Rep. Lane Hemsley from Topeka, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka.

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Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Kansas Sen. Marci Francisco from Lawrence, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka.

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Legislators in Topeka recommended major funding cuts for the Parents as Teachers program, then they backed off. On this edition of Up To Date we learn about the Parents as Teachers program and why a Kansas House Committee looks at continued funding.

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M Glasgow / Flickr--CC

Kansans could carry a concealed gun without a permit under a bill that has advanced in the state Senate. Currently, Kansans need to get a permit, which requires training and a background check.

Republican Sen. Jacob LaTurner says you can already openly carry a gun without a permit.

“This issue is about our 2nd Amendment right, which we’re guaranteed under the state Constitution and the federal Constitution. This bill gets us closer in line with what many of us believe was the intent,” says LaTurner.

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