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Stephen Koranda Friday, February 4th, 2011

The Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, or KPERS, is facing a multi-billion dollar deficit in the coming decades. The situation has gotten worse in recent years, thanks to the economic downturn. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us, the governor has tasked Senate leaders with working on a solution.

Stephen Koranda Friday, February 4th, 2011

The Kansas House has given first approval to a rules change that would make it more difficult to amend budget bills. Under the new rules, amendments that increase spending could only be made on the House floor if an equal spending cut is proposed. The measure is known as “pay as you go.” Supporters of the change argue it’s needed to get the state’s finances in order. Opponents say it means a majority of the Appropriations Committee, 12 members, will be able to set the size of the entire state budget. Here’s House Minority Leader, Lawrence Democrat Paul Davis, speaking on the House Floor.The...

Stephen Koranda Friday, February 4th, 2011

Early Head Start advocates looking for a commitment from Governor Sam Brownback may be out of luck. As Kansas Public Radio’s Bryan Thompson reports, the governor was asked about funding for the program during a Friday morning news conference.

Stephen Koranda Friday, February 4th, 2011

Governor Sam Brownback is commending Kansans over how they handled the storm this week. State offices were closed for two days and officials urged Kansans to stay off the roads. Brownback says there was a total of 3 fatalities in Kansas from the storm, but the situation could have been worse. Brownback says state workers are trying to total the amount of damage to crops and cattle from the blizzard. If the damage from the storm reaches 3 million dollars, Brownback says the state could be eligible for federal assistance though a federal disaster declaration.

Stephen Koranda Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

A group of dentists in Kansas is hoping the Legislature will take steps that could keep dentists in the state. The group hopes having more dentists in Kansas could help make dental services available where they’re currently lacking. KPR’s Stephen Koranda has more.

Stephen Koranda Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

A group of Kansas dentists is hoping the Legislature will take steps to keep more dentists in the state. Kansas and Missouri have an agreement, in which some students who are Kansas residents can attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City dental school and pay in-state tuition. Brett Roufs (roofs) is a dentist from Newton and the past president of the Kansas Dental Association. He says Kansas can send around 20 students per year to UMKC through the program. He hopes the legislature will require some of those students to come back and work in the state.Roufs says they’d also like to see...

Stephen Koranda Monday, January 31st, 2011

A House Committee is considering a bill that would require voters to show a photo ID at the polls. The legislation would also require people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas to prove their citizenship. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us, the House Elections Committee is working on the legislation.

Stephen Koranda Monday, January 31st, 2011

Supporters of a bill that would require voters to show a photo ID at the polls lined up today (MON) before the House Elections Committee. The legislation would also require first-time voters to prove their citizenship when they register to vote. Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the bill’s author, has been pushing the legislation as a way to prevent voter fraud. Kobach says around 220 incidents of possible voter fraud have been reported since 1997. He told lawmakers that because voter fraud is so hard to track, he believes the actual number is higher.Opponents of the bill believe...

Stephen Koranda Sunday, January 30th, 2011

If you could build a Mount Rushmore for the 20th century, which four presidents would you choose to commemorate? Historian Richard Norton Smith gave the first of a four-part series at the University of Kansas Dole Institute of Politics yesterday (SUN). He says Ronald Reagan deserves a spot in history as a leader who transformed the presidency:Richard Norton Smith was the first director of the Dole Institute of Politics and served as director of the Reagan Presidential Library. You can hear Smith's talk in its entirety on KPR Presents, this Sunday evening, at 8:00 p.m. Sunday would mark...

Stephen Koranda Friday, January 28th, 2011

Lawmakers are butting heads over a proposal that could cut state employee wages. The legislation is headed for the House floor after passing out of a committee last week. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us, the salary cut could equal 7.5 percent.In the interest of full disclosure, salary cuts at the University of Kansas would affect the staff of Kansas Public Radio.

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