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Statehouse

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...

Stephen Koranda Friday, February 25th, 2011

A legislative deadline last week had Kansas lawmakers scrambling. It meant a busy week with many bills moving forward. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, most of the controversial action took place in the House.

Stephen Koranda Friday, February 25th, 2011

The House and Senate have yet to reach a compromise on a bill that would trim spending for the current fiscal year. A proposal that passed the Senate includes around 25 million dollars for special education that wasn’t included in the House version. If the state doesn’t put up the money, Kansas could lose around 25 million dollars per year in federal funding that helps pay for special education. A House proposal would transfer money from K through 12 school funding to cover the special education deficit. But Senate President Steve Morris, a Hugoton Republican, opposes that plan, saying...

Stephen Koranda Thursday, February 24th, 2011

The Kansas House has moved forward a bill that would require voters to show a photo ID at the polls. It would also require people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas to prove their citizenship. Supporters of the legislation say it’s needed to help prevent voter fraud. State Representative John Rubin, a Shawnee Republican, brought the bill to the House floor. He believes the goals of the bill are simple.Opponents of the bill say that voter fraud is not a problem in Kansas. Topeka Democrat, Representative Ann Mah (“maw”), opposed the bill. She believes the requirement to show a...

Stephen Koranda Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Dozens of union members gathered at the Statehouse today (THUR) to oppose a bill that would eliminate an option for them to make political donations. Under current law, union members can voluntarily have money taken out of their paychecks and donated to political action committees. The bill would bar that practice. Union members gathered in the chamber when the House voted on the bill.Supporters of the bill say union members can still make donations, they just won’t be automatically deducted from paychecks. Opponents of the bill say it limits free speech. Stan Chapman is a union member from...

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