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Statehouse

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.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

A committee in the Kansas House has approved legislation that would cut state employee pay by seven-point-five percent. The House Appropriations Committee added the pay cut to a spending freeze bill introduced by Governor Sam Brownback. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us, the pay cut would last until the end of the fiscal year in June.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Kansas lawmakers are now considering a budget-cutting bill as part of efforts to put the state's finances on firmer ground. The specific reductions range from just 20 dollars in one legislative fund...to one-point-three million dollars that had been set aside for planned state employee pay adjustments. Republican House Appropriations Committee Chair Marc Rhoades of Newton:The bill, which has been proposed by Governor Sam Brownback, calls for more than 35 million dollars in cuts to current spending.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

A budget-cutting bill received its first airing in the Kansas Legislature yesterday (TUE). Governor Sam Brownback's proposed "freeze" bill is being heard by Senate and House committees this week. It actually goes beyond locking in current spending and cuts some programs. That idea is not sitting well with Democratic Representative Bill Feuerborn (FIRE-born) of Garnett. He says cuts in state special education funding could jeopardize federal money that the state receives.Brownback administration officials say the currently-proposed spending cuts are important for keeping the state's bank...

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