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Stephen Koranda Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

The Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee today (THUR) recommended rejecting Governor Sam Brownback’s plan to eliminate the Kansas Arts Commission. Brownback has signed an executive order to replace the Arts Commission with a private, non-profit group. Senator David Haley, a Kansas City Democrat, says he is not convinced private money will be available to replace the lost state dollars.The committee’s resolution to reject the governor’s plan will now go before the full Senate.

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

The Supreme Court has sided with Topeka’s Westboro Baptist Church in a free speech case. The church is known for protesting at military funerals. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, church members argued that their protests were protected under the Firt Amendment.

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

The House Appropriations Committee today (TUE) voted to eliminate state funding for public broadcasting. Anthony Brown, a Eudora Republican, supported the cut, saying the state needs to look at its priorities.The bill will now go before the full House. The state funding is used to help support public television and radio stations in Kansas, including Kansas Public Radio. Much of the funding goes to stations serving rural areas.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

An effort to repeal a law that gives illegal immigrants a tuition break has passed the House, but may face a challenge in the Senate. The bill would repeal a 2004 Kansas law that allows some undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at Kansas colleges and universities. Senate Majority Leader Jay Emler, a Lindsborg Republican, says it hasn’t been the top issue for many senators.Emler says a projected budget deficit has been his top issue. For more on the debate over the immigrant tuition law, tune in later this hour.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Some lawmakers want to repeal a law that gives in-state tuition to certain illegal immigrants. The law originally passed in 2004. The House voted last week to repeal it. KPR’s Stephen Koranda has more on the debate.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

A group of Kansas electric, oil and gas companies are calling on state lawmakers to vote in favor of a measure criticizing the federal Environmental Protection Agency. A House committee is considering a resolution that targets proposed federal regulation of greenhouse gasses. Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association President Ed Cross says the rules will hurt the Kansas economy.Westar Energy and KCPL are also on board with the effort, as is an electric co-op group. The resolution is calling for a federal cost-benefit analysis of greenhouse gas rules. The measure is non-binding.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Kansas lawmakers are considering a resolution that would admonish the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Republican Representative Forrest Knox of Altoona is backing a measure opposing the EPA's - quote - "regulatory train wreck."The non-binding resolution is primarily directed at efforts to regulate greenhouse gases, which the EPA was effectively ordered to regulate, following a U-S Supreme Court decision. Many Republicans have called on Congress to pass laws that would reverse that ruling.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Today (TUE) is primary day for local elections. Voters in Kansas are choosing candidates for school boards, city councils and other local offices. Shawnee County Election Commissioner Elizabeth Ensley predicts a 13 percent turnout in the county. She says that’s slightly below normal.The polls are open until 7 pm, but in some areas voting locations will be closed because no races are on the ballot. Voters who have questions about the election can contact their county election office for more information. The general election for local offices will be Tuesday, April 5th.

Stephen Koranda Monday, February 28th, 2011

A school district in central Kansas has been given a waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act. KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports on what the McPherson Unified School District will be doing differently.

Stephen Koranda Friday, February 25th, 2011

A legislative deadline last week had lawmakers scrambling to pass bills. Most bills had to pass one chamber by the end of last week, or they would be lost for the session. Lawmakers passed dozens of bills to make the cutoff. One high-profile bill that didn’t meet the deadline would have toughened drunken-driving penalties. The potential costs of providing more prison beds hurt the bill in a tough budget year. Senate Vice President John Vratil (Vratil rhythms with rattle), an Overland Park Republican, said the potential cost could have been tens of millions of dollars.For more on the bills...


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