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Statehouse

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, March 9th

The state court system in Kansas today (WED) kicked off a comprehensive study to look for ways to save money. Last year, the court system had to shut its doors for several days due to a budget crunch. A commission appointed by the court will try to find ways to cut costs in the judicial branch. Chief Justice Lawton Nuss says it’s difficult to find a balance between saving dollars and keeping the court system accessible to Kansans.The state court system includes the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals and district courts. The recommendations are expected to be ready at the beginning of next...

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, March 9th

Kansas lawmakers are considering a resolution that seeks to reduce the number of school superintendents. Republican House Speaker Mike O'Neal of Hutchinson is supporting a measure that directs the State Board of Education to craft a plan in which superintendents each serve at least ten thousand students. O'Neal says there's not enough money to maintain existing administrative staff levels.While the plan would not force school consolidation, it would require districts to share superintendents. Opponents say that the plan could lead to superintendents having to oversee students spread out...

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, March 8th

A House committee may urge the Board of Education to look at reorganizing school districts. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, the House Education Committee is considering legislation that is aimed at reducing school administrative costs.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, March 8th

A bill aimed at curbing methamphetamine production is facing pushback from opponents. The Senate Local Government Committee is considering a plan to require a doctor's prescription to purchase drugs containing pseudoephedrine, which is an ingredient used in the manufacture of meth. But Arkansas City Police Chief Sean Wallace says it's a minor...and appropriate...inconvenience.-------------- Supporters say the solution being proposed by drug companies for computerized tracking of over-the-counter cold medicine sales does not go far enough. Teams of addicts currently purchase small quantities...

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, March 8th

Kansas public employee groups are defending the state's pension plan against a bill that would change it. The new system would compensate new hires with a 401(k) system more commonly used in the private sector. Kansas National Education Association lobbyist Terry Forsyth says the current plan has lower administrative costs, and has weathered the effects of recessions well.The state is facing a 7.5 billion dollar shortfall in the current system, following the recession and years of under-funding by lawmakers. Legislators would still have to find money to cover that shortfall, since any...

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, March 8th

A bill that would switch the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, or KPERS, from a pension plan to a 401(k) system is being considered by the Legislature. Topeka Independent Business Association head Ken Daniel says the current plan's 7.5 billion dollar long-term shortfall means that the state should act now.If Kansas switches its compensation to a 401(k) plan, the funding gap would still exist for current employees. The state cannot legally force existing workers into a different system. However, proponents of a change say there would be no chance of shortfalls for newly-hired workers...

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, March 8th

This is National Consumer Protection Week. The event is being observed in Kansas with several activities, including free document destruction services at various locations around the state. Kansas Attorney General spokesperson Jeff Wagaman says the activity is meant to help combat a crime that's becoming more common.The shredding events will take place at two locations of the Meritrust Credit Union in Wichita today (WED). Events will be held in Overland Park and Shawnee tomorrow (THUR), and in Lawrence and Topeka on Friday.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, March 8th

This is National Consumer Protection Week. Jeff Wagaman, the spokesperson for the Kansas Attorney General's office, says one of the activities being held in conjunction with the event is geared toward high school students.The writers of the top 3 entries from around the state will each win 400 dollars. All entries are due next Monday, March 14th. More information can be found online at the Kansas Attorney General's website, www.ksag.org. National Consumer Protection Week is being observed with various activities in all fifty states.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, March 8th

The Kansas House has given first-round approval to a bill outlawing lap dances at strip clubs and placing restrictions on other sexually oriented businesses. The bill would require strip club dancers to stay at least 6 feet away from customers. The bill also restricts when adult businesses can be open and where they can be located. Opponents of the measure argued that it isn’t in line with calls for smaller government. Supporters say the businesses bring a host of problems to communities. Forrest Knox, an Altoona Republican, brought the bill to the House floor.The House could give final...

Stephen Koranda Monday, March 7th

State government in Kansas is starting a comprehensive study of how tax dollars are spent. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, the goal of the program is to find the exact costs for government services.

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