Topeka, Kan. – One of Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson's priorities laid out in the State of the State address is a statewide smoking ban, but that issue has run into challenges in the legislature in past years.
The Kansas Senate passed a smoking ban last session, but couldn't reach a compromise with House leaders.
House Health and Human Services Committee Chair, Brenda Landwehr, says one of the major stumbling blocks has been an exemption for state-owned casinos.
Topeka, Kan. – Democratic Governor Mark Parkinson has outlined his proposals to deal with a deficit in the coming fiscal year. He made his case before the legislature during the State of the State address in Topeka. Statehouse Reporter Stephen Koranda files this report.
Kansas lawmakers are starting the years-long task of redrawing the lines for both national and state political offices. An advisory group began meeting this week in Topeka to look at the redistricting process.
Topeka, KS – A cash crunch forced Kansas to delay $173 million in aid payments to its public schools this month, and a top education official said Tuesday that a few districts need help from the state to make their December payrolls.
State Budget Director Duane Goossen confirmed that there hasn't been enough money in Kansas' main account to meet its obligations to its 295 school districts. Some funds due in December might not be sent until early January.
Kansas City, MO – For the second time this week a member of the Kansas legislature has announced his resignation. Republican Wichita Representative Jason Watkins has said he'll leave the legislature effective later this week.
Topeka, KS – A Kansas legislative committee is looking into problems in the state's foster care system. Committee members are hoping to improve the system for identifying and caring for at-risk children. The Joint Committee on Children's Issues heard testimony this week from officials, parents and foster parents.
Kansas City, MO – Compensation for Kansas State University football coach Bill Snyder accounted for most of $845,599 in questionable payments cited by a state audit. The university's president said Thursday that none of them were improper.
President Kirk Schulz told the Kansas Board of Regents, which oversees the state's higher education system, that Snyder did nothing improper - something the coach himself has said repeatedly. Schulz later said the same is true for a former athletic director and former university vice president.
Topeka, KS – The state court system is facing a $15 million shortfall in Kansas, and courts are scheduled to be closed for several weeks to save cash. The courts will be closed for a total of six weeks between February and June of next year, if lawmakers don't take action to fund the shortfall.
Ron Keefover is information officer for the Kansas Judiciary. He says the courts won't be scheduling cases for those weeks, but judges will likely still be available for some duties like signing search warrants.