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Statehouse

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...

Stephen Koranda Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Dozens of union members gathered at the Statehouse 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. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us, the bill would bar that practice.

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Was Dwight D Eisenhower one of the four most important presidents of the 20th century? That was the argument made last night (WED) at the University of Kansas Dole Institute of Politics. KPR's Kaye McIntyre files this report:

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

The Kansas House has given first-round approval to bills that would place more restrictions on abortion in the state. The heated debate lasted nearly two hours yesterday (WED). KPR’s Stephen Koranda was there and has this report.

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