Kansas Statehouse

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

A school funding plan has been making fast progress in the Kansas Legislature, passing out of both House and Senate committees Thursday. The proposal will cut the general state aid all school districts receive by .5 percent, then redistribute that money to assist poorer school districts.

It also takes funding from several other places for a total of $38 million. Republican Sen. Ty Masterson believes the bill can win legislative and judicial approval and prevent schools from shutting down.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's Statehouse Blend podcast, we bring you an in-depth look at what is shaping up to be a competitive 2016 election year in Kansas.

Guests on this episode:

Lawmakers and the state Supreme Court face off over school funding, every single seat in the state legislature is up for grabs, and the budget is millions of dollars in the red. It may sound like the plot of a political thriller but the battle for control of the Kansas Statehouse is real, and things are heating up.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's Statehouse Blend podcast, we bring you an in-depth look at what is shaping up to be a competitive 2016 election year in Kansas.

Guests on this episode:

File photo

In the past few years, Kansans have become used to monthly revenue numbers in the red. Still, May's figures came as a shock. On the last (mostly ceremonial) day of the 2016 legislative session, state revenue officials announced Kansas had come up nearly $75 million short of projections. Both individual and corporate income tax collections fell short of the mark. 

On this week's Statehouse Blend podcast, reporters dissect what we've seen so far and what we can expect as the Kansas Legislative session heads to a close. 

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

Before the Kansas Legislature went on spring break last month, a Senate committee pushed forward a bill that would expand the grounds for impeachment of Supreme Court justices. The controversial legislation says that justices could be impeached for "attempting to usurp the the power of the legislative or judicial branch of government."

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

Kansas Rep. Ron Ryckman Jr., a Republican from Olathe, joined KCUR's Statehouse Blend podcast this weekend to discuss the Legislature's burden in coming up with a new school funding plan.

This is an excerpt from Statehouse Blend. You can listen to the full episode here, or by subscribing on iTunes.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

Kansas lawmakers have introduced a new school funding plan that tries to fund school districts more evenly without costing any of them money. Previous plans had redistributed money and left some districts with less overall funding.

Lawmakers are trying to find a way to reduce disparities between school districts following a Kansas Supreme Court ruling. The bill would redistribute state funding and tap an existing extraordinary needs fund.

Republican Sen. Ty Masterson says stakeholders made it clear that no district should lose money.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

Attempts by Kansas lawmakers to find a finance solution that would equitably fund schools have thus far failed in the Legislature.

Kansas Rep. Ron Ryckman Jr., a Republican from Olathe, joined KCUR's Statehouse Blend podcast this weekend to discuss the Legislature's burden in coming up with a new school funding plan.

Susie Fagan / Heartland Health Monitor

On this special Extra Shot edition of KCUR's Statehouse Blend podcast, Kansas Rep. John Rubin (R-Shawnee) talks to host Sam Zeff about his removal as Chair of the Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee by House Speaker Ray Merrick.

Merrick said in a statement that he ousted Rubin in response to the latter attempting to "manipulate the House rules" and force a vote on a gaming bill.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

On this week's Statehouse Blend, leaders of faith based organizations discuss their unique view on the current political climate in Kansas.

This is an excerpt from Statehouse Blend. You can listen to the full episode here, or by subscribing on iTunes.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

On this week's Statehouse Blend, leaders of faith based organizations discuss their unique view on the current political climate in Kansas.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

The Kansas legislative session is already underway in Topeka. On this week's Statehouse Blend, we discuss the most important issues for the 2016 legislature, and speculate on the outcomes. We're talking KDOT, elections, and the budget.

Guests:

Governor Sam Brownback laid out his legislative goals during the 2016 State of the State Address Tuesday night. He took the president to task and touched on high-profile state issues like education spending. 

Brownback laid the groundwork in his speech by referencing what he and lawmakers had done in Kansas in recent years. He touted tax policy, the unemployment rate and job growth.

“Kansans are finding good jobs right here at home. Working together, we’ve created an economic environment where new filings for new businesses have increased by 15 percent,” said Brownback.

Kyle Palmer / KCUR

Did Kansas lawmakers know about the state's controversial decision to lift the borrowing limit for the Department of Transportation? 

This PowerPoint slide seems to suggest they did, but lawmakers on both sides of the aisle along with transportation insiders whom KCUR has talked to all say they were surprised to see KDOT borrowing at record levels in December. 

Kansas Sen. Kay Wolf

Dec 19, 2015
Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Sen. Kay Wolf from Prairie Village, provides an insider perspective on the Kansas Legislature as we discuss KDOT funding, and the national view of Kansas.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

 Was a little-noticed provision slipped into this year's Kansas budget a backdoor way for the state to continue squeezing the Department of Transportation for more general fund revenue? Some lawmakers and transportation experts suggest that could be the case. 

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Rep. Linda Gallagher from Lenexa provides an insider perspective on the Kansas Legislature as we discuss KDOT funding, education, and guns.

This is an excerpt from Statehouse Blend. You can listen to the full episode here, or by subscribing on iTunes.

Guests:

  • Linda Gallagher, Representative for the 23rd District, Kansas Legislature
  • Cameron Baraban, citizen
  • Maria Carter, News Director, KCUR
Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Rep. Linda Gallagher from Lenexa provides an insider perspective on the Kansas Legislature as we discuss KDOT funding, education, and guns.

Guests:

  • Linda Gallagher, Representative for the 23rd District, Kansas Legislature
  • Cameron Baraban, citizen
  • Maria Carter, News Director, KCUR
Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Rep. RonRyckman Jr. from Olathe provides an insider perspective on the Kansas Legislature as we discuss free lunches from lobbyists, block grants, and extraordinary need funding for schools.

This is an excerpt from Statehouse Blend. You can listen to the full episode here, or by subscribing on itunes.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Rep. Ron Ryckman Jr. from Olathe provides an insider perspective on the Kansas Legislature as we discuss free lunches from lobbyists, block grants, and extraordinary need funding for schools.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach  joins Statehouse Blend to discuss voter fraud, immigration, and his treatment in the media.

This is an excerpt from Statehouse Blend. You can listen to the full episode here, or by subscribing on itunes.

Guests:

  • Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State
  • Melissa Carlson, Citizen Voice
  • Nick Haines, Executive Producer of Public Affairs, KCPT
Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach  joins Statehouse Blend to discuss voter fraud, immigration, and his treatment in the media.

Guests:

  • Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State
  • Melissa Carlson, Citizen Voice
  • Nick Haines, Executive Producer of Public Affairs, KCPT
Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Kansas Sen. Laura Kelly from Topeka provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session. 

You can listen to the full episode here.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Kansas Sen. Laura Kelly from Topeka provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session. 

Guests:

  • Laura Kelly, Sen. for the 18th District, Kansas Legislature 
  • Gene Chavez, Citizen Voice
  • Lisa Rodriguez, Associate Producer, KCUR
Matt Hodapp / KCUR

On this week's Statehouse Blend, we look back at the Kansas Legislature's favorite songs and what they meant in the context of the session. It's Statehouse Blend, The Musical.

Guests:

  • C.J. Janovy, Arts Reporter, KCUR
  • Matt Hodapp, Statehouse Blend Producer, KCUR
Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Rep. Erin Davis from Olathe provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 Kansas legislative session. 

You can listen to the full episode of Statehouse Blend here.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Rep. Erin Davis from Olathe provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 Kansas legislative session. 

Guests:

  • Erin Davis, Rep. for the 15th District, Kansas Legislature 
  • Christopher Leitch, Citizen Voice
  • Dan Margolies, Heartland Health Monitor Editor, KCUR
Matt Hodapp / KCUR

On this week's Statehouse Blend, we ask former Kansas legislators to compare and contrast the Kansas legislature then and now.

You can listen to the full episode of Statehouse Blend here.

Guests:

  • Kelly Kultala, Former Senator, 5th District
  • John Vratil, Former Senator, 11th District
  • Tim Owens, Former Senator, 8th District

Pages