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Statehouse

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

The House Appropriations Committee today (TUE) approved a budget proposal for the fiscal year starting July 1st. The legislation mirrors much of Governor Sam Brownback’s budget plan, including a 230-dollar-per-student cut to education funding. But the committee decided to trim more spending. They also reduced funding for social services and cut pay for state employees who make more than 40 thousand dollars per year. Elected officials and other state officers would see a 7.5 percent pay cut. The legislation was criticized by members of both parties, but passed on a 12-10 vote. Representative...

Stephen Koranda Monday, March 21st, 2011

The House Appropriations Committee will continue work today (TUE) on a budget proposal for the fiscal year starting July 1st. Yesterday (MON), work on the budget stalled when the bill failed to get enough votes to move on to the full House. KPR’s Stephen Koranda has more.

Stephen Koranda Monday, March 21st, 2011

The House Appropriations Committee today (MON) failed to approve a budget for next fiscal year, after the bill was criticized by members of both parties. The committee added a pay cut for state employees making over 40 thousand dollars per year and cut funding for Washburn University by 5 million dollars. The bill was criticized by Democrats for cutting state services. Some Republicans said it did not do enough to cut spending. The legislation failed to get enough votes to move to the full House. Committee Chairman Marc Rhoades ("roads"), a Newton Republican, says the process has taken...

Stephen Koranda Friday, March 18th, 2011

A bill in the Kansas Senate would take away civil service protections for some state employees. The legislation would affect more than 300 workers at the Department of Labor. KPR’s Stephen Koranda has more.

Stephen Koranda Friday, March 18th, 2011

Democrats in the Kansas House today (FRI) called for Representative Virgil Peck to resign over a statement he made about illegal immigration. On Monday, the House Appropriations Committee was discussing programs that use sharpshooters in helicopters to hunt feral hogs. Peck said that approach could be used to solve the illegal immigration problem. Kansas City Representative Louis ("lewis") Ruiz ("roo-EES") is the sole Democratic Latino lawmaker in the Statehouse. He said Peck’s comments have no place in the legislature.Peck, a Republican from Tyro, has apologized for the statement. Here he...

Stephen Koranda Friday, March 18th, 2011

Democrats in the Kansas House today (FRI) called for Representative Virgil Peck to resign over a statement he made about illegal immigration. On Monday, the House Appropriations Committee was discussing programs that use sharpshooters in helicopters to hunt feral hogs. Peck said that approach could be used to solve the illegal immigration problem. House Minority Leader Paul Davis, a Lawrence Democrat, called Peck's comments “reprehensible.”Peck, a Republican from Tyro, has apologized for the statement. Here he is speaking to CNN Español yesterday(THUR).Peck has said he won’t step down. House...

Stephen Koranda Thursday, March 17th, 2011

The Kansas House has rejected a bill that would have made a temporary sales tax increase permanent. Last session, the Legislature increased the state sales tax from 5.3 to 6.3 percent, for a 3-year period. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, the House bill was aimed at cutting other taxes.

Stephen Koranda Thursday, March 17th, 2011

The 10 University of Kansas students currently participating in the school's study abroad program in Japan are being required to return home. KU spokeswoman Jill Jess says that rules governing the program are clear:The State Department's travel warning was issued Wednesday, prompted by growing concern about health risks that might be posed by radiation leaking from a complex of Japanese nuclear power plants. Kansas State University has two students currently participating in its study abroad program in Japan. Karli (CARL-ee) Webster, director of the K-State Study Abroad Program, says the...

Stephen Koranda Thursday, March 17th, 2011

The 10 University of Kansas students currently participating in the school's study abroad program in Japan are being required to return home. KU spokeswoman Jill Jess says that rules governing the program are clear:The State Department's travel warning was prompted by growing concern about health risks that might be posed by radiation leaking from a complex of Japanese nuclear power plants. Kansas State University has two students currently studying in Japan. Karli (CARL-ee) Webster, director of K-State's Study Abroad program, says the school is NOT requiring its students to return home at...

Stephen Koranda Thursday, March 17th, 2011

The Kansas House today (THUR) rejected a bill that would have made permanent last year’s sales tax increase. Last session, the Legislature increased the state sales tax from 5.3 to 6.3 percent, for a period of three years. The bill in the House would have kept the higher sales tax rate and lowered personal and corporate income tax rates. Income taxes would have eventually been eliminated. Representative Richard Carlson, a St. Marys Republican, said lowering income tax rates would help spur economic growth in Kansas.Opponents of the legislation said lawmakers would be going back on a promise...

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