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Statehouse

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

The Kansas House has approved a bill to trim spending for the current fiscal year. The bill would give the state a balance of around 35 million dollars at the end of the fiscal year in June. Governor Sam Brownback asked lawmakers to make the cuts to help fill a nearly 500 million dollar deficit for next fiscal year. This was the first House debate under a new rule that makes it harder to amend budget bills. The rule, known as “pay as you go,” was approved yesterday (MON). It requires that any spending increase proposed on the House floor be matched by an equal spending cut. An amendment to...

Stephen Koranda Monday, February 7th, 2011

Governor Sam Brownback has signed an executive order that would eliminate the Kansas Arts Commission. It would be replaced with an organization known as the Kansas Arts Foundation. KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us what the change would mean.

Stephen Koranda Monday, February 7th, 2011

Governor Sam Brownback today (MON) signed an executive order to abolish the Kansas Arts Commission and replace it with the Kansas Arts Foundation. The Arts Commission is a state agency, while the Arts Foundation would be a non-profit organization responsible for raising most of its funding through private donations. Brownback says the move would save the state around 600 thousand dollars next fiscal year. He believes the arts in Kansas will continue to grow under the new organization.Opponents of the move say the state will lose more than one million dollars in federal matching funds if the...

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.

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