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Statehouse

Stephen Koranda Monday, January 31st, 2011

Supporters of a bill that would require voters to show a photo ID at the polls lined up today (MON) before the House Elections Committee. The legislation would also require first-time voters to prove their citizenship when they register to vote. Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the bill’s author, has been pushing the legislation as a way to prevent voter fraud. Kobach says around 220 incidents of possible voter fraud have been reported since 1997. He told lawmakers that because voter fraud is so hard to track, he believes the actual number is higher.Opponents of the bill believe...

Stephen Koranda Sunday, January 30th, 2011

If you could build a Mount Rushmore for the 20th century, which four presidents would you choose to commemorate? Historian Richard Norton Smith gave the first of a four-part series at the University of Kansas Dole Institute of Politics yesterday (SUN). He says Ronald Reagan deserves a spot in history as a leader who transformed the presidency:Richard Norton Smith was the first director of the Dole Institute of Politics and served as director of the Reagan Presidential Library. You can hear Smith's talk in its entirety on KPR Presents, this Sunday evening, at 8:00 p.m. Sunday would mark...

Stephen Koranda Friday, January 28th, 2011

Lawmakers are butting heads over a proposal that could cut state employee wages. The legislation is headed for the House floor after passing out of a committee last week. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us, the salary cut could equal 7.5 percent.In the interest of full disclosure, salary cuts at the University of Kansas would affect the staff of Kansas Public Radio.

Stephen Koranda Friday, January 28th, 2011

More than a hundred Kansans gathered for a ceremony at the Statehouse today (FRI) to recognize the 150th birthday of the state. In January, 1861, Kansas joined the Union. Governor Sam Brownback told the crowd that Kansans should look to their ancestors when facing today’s challenges. The ceremony kicks off a weekend of events to recognize the sesquicentennial of the state. The Kansas Museum of History in Topeka has opened a new exhibit called “150 Things I Love About Kansas,” and will have a day of free events tomorrow(SAT).

Stephen Koranda Thursday, January 27th, 2011

U-S Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has become the third U-S Supreme Court justice to speak at Kansas State University. Speaking to an overflow crowd at the Kansas State Student Union yesterday (THURS), Sotomayor said that being a judge and interpreting laws is a lot like playing baseball:

Stephen Koranda Thursday, January 27th, 2011

U-S Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor decscribed a career and life filled with humor and passion when she spoke at Kansas State University. KPR's Kaye McIntyre was in Manhattan yesterday (THURS) and files this report:

Stephen Koranda Thursday, January 27th, 2011

A bill in the Kansas Legislature would target employers who hire illegal immigrants as a way to combat illegal immigration in Kansas. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us, the bill would require employers to verify workers are legal and are legally able to work in the country.

Stephen Koranda Thursday, January 27th, 2011

A bill introduced by Democrats in the Kansas Legislature would focus on employers as a way to reduce illegal immigration. The legislation would require workers hired for any public works project to have their residency verified. Employers would use the federal E-Verify system to check if workers are legal and eligible to work in the country. Supporters of the bill are hoping to reduce the number of illegal immigrants coming to Kansas by making it more difficult for them to get hired. Representative Valdenia (val-DEEN-yuh) Winn, a Kansas City Democrat, is pushing for the measure. The bill...

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Kansas lawmakers are looking at legislation that would toughen penalties for drunk-driving convictions. The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on the legislation yesterday (. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us, the bill would increase penalties for refusing a breath test and for repeat offenders.

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

The Senate Judiciary Committee today (WED) heard from supporters of a bill that would toughen penalties for drunk driving. The bill would increase punishment for refusing a breath test and for repeat offenders. Some critics have argued the harsher penalties could clog local jails with DUI offenders. Frank Harris, with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, disagrees. He says the state has diversion options, instead of jail time, for first time offenders.Harris says drunk-driving deaths nationwide have been falling, but in the last 5 years the rate has been increasing in Kansas.

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