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Statehouse

KPR opened its first full-time Statehouse Bureau in Topeka in January of 1978. Ever since, KPR's Statehouse Bureau, which is often called the KPR-Network, has provided gavel-to-gavel coverage of the legislature, executive and judicial branches of Kansas government and other stories of statewide interest. KPR is the only broadcast outlet in the state that maintains a full-time, year-round bureau at the Capitol.

Bills on Social Issues Could Move Forward This Session

Lawmakers are kicking off this legislative session with bigger Republican majorities in the Kansas House and Senate, and a Republican in the governor’s office. Some lawmakers believe some bills on social issues like abortion –which have failed in recent years- will get new life this session. KPR’s Stephen Koranda has more.



Bill to Restrict Late-Term Abortions Filed in KS House

A bill filed in the Kansas House would remove an exemption from the state’s ban on late-term abortions. Although late-term abortions are restricted, an exemption allows the procedure to take place if having the baby would damage or impair the mental health of the mother. Representative Steve Huebert, a Valley Center Republican, believes that exemption is being overused. Huebert authored the legislation. He says the bill passed the house last year, but wasn’t taken up in the Senate.



Huebert is hoping the bill will get more traction this session, with a Republican governor in office. He believes the bill will be challenged in the courts if it passes.

Brownback Sends Positive Message at Inauguration

Governor Sam Brownback was sworn in to office today (MON), during a ceremony at the Statehouse. Brownback is taking the job during a time when the state faces a budget shortfall of more than 500 million dollars and a high unemployment rate. In his speech, Brownback highlighted the difficulties ahead, but sent a message of hope.



Brownback will lay out his legislative agenda Wednesday, during the State of the State Address. You'll be able to hear that address live, Wednesday night at 6:30, here on Kansas Public Radio.

Brownback Sends Message of Hope, Optimism at Inauguration

Governor Sam Brownback took office today (MON). Brownback was sworn in during a ceremony at the Statehouse. He takes over the job of governor at a challenging time. The state’s unemployment rate hovers at more than 6 percent, and Kansas faces a budget shortfall of more than 500 million dollars. In his inauguration speech, Brownback highlighted the difficult times ahead, but sent a message of optimism.



That’s Governor Sam Brownback, speaking today (MON) at the inauguration ceremony in Topeka. Brownback will lay out his legislative priorities Wednesday, during the State of the State Address. You'll be able to hear that address live at 6:30 Wednesday night, here on Kansas Public Radio.

Schools Relying on Reserves Because of Delayed State Payment

About half of the state's scheduled aid payments to public schools have been delayed because of concerns about a short-term cash crunch. Deputy State Budget Director Elaine Frisbie said today (TUE) that 98 million dollars in payments - which would normally have reached Kansas school districts yesterday (MON) - won't get to them until the end of this week. Blake west is president of the Kansas branch of the National Education Association. He says school districts often rely on reserves to pay bills when state payments are delayed, but those reserves are dwindling.



It's the first time since the fiscal year began July 1st, that the state has delayed aid payments to its 293 school districts. The state regularly delayed funds during the previous fiscal year.

Heads of SRS, KDHE Named

Governor-elect Sam Brownback today (MON) named his choices to head two health and human services agencies. Rob Siedlecki (side-LECK-ee) will head the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. Siedlecki currently works in the Florida Department of Health. There, he has worked with efforts that partner government with faith-based organizations.



Brownback named Dr. Robert Moser (mo-SURE) to head the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Moser currently works at the University of Kansas School of Medicine’s Wichita branch. Before that, he worked with Greeley County Health Services. Both appointments will need to be confirmed by the Kansas Senate.

Brownback Names Heads of KDHE, SRS

Governor-elect Sam Brownback today (MON) named his choices to head two health and human services agencies. Dr. Robert Moser (mo-SURE) will head the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Moser currently works at the University of Kansas School of Medicine’s Wichita branch. Before that he worked with Greeley County Health Services. Moser says one of his priorities will be focusing on preventative medicine.



Brownback named Rob Siedlecki (side-LECK-ee) to head the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. Siedlecki currently works in the Florida Department of Health. Both appointments will need to be confirmed by the Kansas Senate.

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