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Statehouse

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, January 25th

This summer, 35 teachers from across the nation will be selected for a seminar on civil rights and politics at the University of Kansas. Shawn Leigh Alexander, director of the Langston Hughes Center at KU, hopes that the teachers can return to their students with a new understanding of the civil rights movement.The seminar is titled "Presidential Politics, Civil Rights and the Road to Brown." Applications for the seminar will be accepted until February 1. More information is available online at gilderlehrman.com or by calling the Langston Hughes Center at the University of Kansas (785-...

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, January 25th

Thirty five teachers from all across the nation will be selected to participate in a seminar this summer at the University of Kansas. Shawn Leigh Alexander, director of the Langston Hughes Center at KU, says the seminar is part of a prestigious national program.The topic of the KU seminar is "Presidential Politics, Civil Rights and the Road to Brown," and focuses on the early struggle for civil rights and equality. Applications for the seminar will be accepted until February 1. More information is available online at gilderlehrman.com or by calling the Langston Hughes Center at the...

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, January 25th

A committee in the Kansas House has approved a proposal that would cut state employee pay by seven-and-a-half percent. The House Appropriations Committee today (TUE) approved a spending freeze bill introduced by Governor Sam Brownback. The committee added a provision that would cut the pay of all state and university employees by 7.5 percent for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends in June. Representative Pete DeGraaf, a Mulvane Republican, introduced the amendment.The pay cut would also affect legislators, judges and other state officers. It’s estimated the cut would save the state 8...

Stephen Koranda Monday, January 24th

Governor Sam Brownback is continuing his pledge to revamp state government. Yesterday (MON) he signed an executive order to move the Kansas Commission on Disability Concerns from the Department of Commerce into the Governor’s office. KPR’s Stephen Koranda has more.

Stephen Koranda Friday, January 21st

An energy efficiency contest has 16 Kansas cities competing to see who can save the most energy. The Take Charge Challenge is broken into 4 regions, with a total of 16 cities competing. Each community gets a 25 thousand dollar grant to start the program. The money is used to buy energy-saving light bulbs and get the word out about easy ways to increase energy efficiency. The Take Charge Challenge is in its second year. Dorothy Barnett is with the Climate and Energy Project. She says all the competing cities will likely show benefits from the contest.In each region, the top city will receive...

Stephen Koranda Friday, January 21st

Governor Sam Brownback has begun his plans to restructure state government and eliminate state agencies. Brownback has signed an executive order to abolish the Kansas Parole Board and move those duties to the Department of Corrections. This is just the first of his plans to eliminate 8 state agencies. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us, some lawmakers could push back against the proposals.

Stephen Koranda Friday, January 21st

Governor Sam Brownback has signed an executive order that would abolish the Kansas Parole Board. The duties of paroling inmates would now fall under the Department of Corrections. Newly appointed Secretary of Corrections Ray Roberts says he believes the department can handle the new duties.Brownback says abolishing the Parole Board could save the state around 500 thousand dollars per year. Fewer than 600 of the state’s 8 thousand inmates are eligible for parole. Most inmates were sentenced under newer laws that require set prison terms. The order is slated to take effect July 1st. Either...

Stephen Koranda Friday, January 21st

Governor Sam Brownback today (FRI) appointed his secretary of corrections. Brownback has selected El Dorado Correctional Facility Warden Ray Roberts. The prison system in Kansas is currently over capacity and was tarnished in 2009 by allegations of sexual misconduct by guards at a Topeka women’s prison. Brownback says he’s ordered Roberts to take steps to prevent future misconduct.The appointment will need to be confirmed by the Kansas Senate.

Stephen Koranda Thursday, January 20th

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has proposed taking money from the state highway fund to help cover a more than 500 million dollar budget deficit. The highway fund pays for road maintenance and upgrades. The state is also just starting a 10 year, 8 billion dollar transportation project, known as T-Works (tee works). As KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us, the Governor says taking 200 million dollars from the highway fund won’t hurt the T-Works project.

Stephen Koranda Thursday, January 20th

The governor’s budget proposal would take 200 million dollars from the state highway fund to help cover a budget deficit. Secretary of Transportation Deb Miller says recent bids for highway projects have been cheaper than expected, freeing up the money. The state is embarking on a 10-year, 8 billion dollar transportation project, known as T-Works (tee-works). Miller says the highway fund can handle this transfer, but if legislators keep taking money in the future, the T-Works project could be compromised.Miller says lawmakers have taken money from the fund other times in recent years. She...

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