Archive for the ‘Kansas Politics’ Category

Kansas Considers Shorter Legislative Sessions
January 29, 2016

(AP) – Kansas lawmakers say that legislative sessions need to be curtailed to expedite decisions and save taxpayer money.
The House Committee on Appropriations held a hearing Thursday to discuss a bill that would shorten the session in odd numbered years to 60 days. Even-numbered years would remain at 90 days as required by the Kansas Constitution.
Republican Rep. Marvin Kleeb from Overland Park was one of many members who testified that the shorter session would allow them to spend more time with their families and return to their businesses. They also said it would push lawmakers to discuss bills in a more efficient manner.
Kleeb added that a shorter session could save taxpayers more than $1.9 million a year.

Kansas Considers Anti- Discrimination Bill for Gun Shop Owners
January 28, 2016

(AP) – Olathe shooting range co-owner William Basore says he faced discrimination when he couldn’t get insurance for his new car last fall because of his business.
A bill reviewed Thursday by a Kansas Senate committee would protect Basore and any others businesses “engaged in the lawful commerce of firearms or ammunition products” from discriminatory practices by businesses such as banks, payment processors or insurance companies.
Gun-rights advocates spoke in favor of the bill at a Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs hearing. But the measure was strongly criticized by lobbyists who wanted to include amendments or feared that it would create potential liabilities. Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri lobbyist Elise Higgins said the bill should protect organizations that offer health care for women.

Laws mets Pass Kansas Courts Budget
January 28, 2016

AP) – Kansas legislators have given final approval to a bill to keep the state’s courts open following a legal dispute involving their budget.
The Senate passed the measure Thursday on a 39-1 vote. The House approved it last week, 119-0, so the bill goes next to Gov. Sam Brownback
The measure repeals a 2015 law threatening the court system’s budget.
That law said the judiciary’s entire budget would be nullified if the courts struck down another law enacted in 2014.
The 2014 law stripped the Kansas Supreme Court of its power to appoint chief judges in the state’s 31 judicial districts and gave it to local judges instead. The high court invalidated the 2014 law last month.
Supporters of the 2014 law said they didn’t intend to close the courts.

Soa e Confirmed as Ks Commerce Secretary
January 28, 2016

AP) – The Kansas Senate has approved Gov. Sam Brownback’s appointments of a new commerce secretary and three members of the board overseeing the state’s higher education system.
All four votes Thursday were 40-0.
Antonio Soave (SWAH’-vay) has served as interim commerce secretary since December.
He formerly was chairman and CEO of a company that helps businesses with mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and expanding foreign markets.

Lawmaker’s Questions Thwart Statehouse Power Plan Plan
January 27, 2016

AP) – The construction of a new power plant for the Kansas Statehouse and four nearby state office buildings has been delayed following bipartisan legislative criticism over how the project is being financed.
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s office confirmed the delay in construction Wednesday after top GOP legislators said the project had been postponed because of lawmakers’ questions.
The Senate Ways and Means Committee also postponed a confirmation hearing for interim Administration Secretary Sarah Shipman. Her department developed the $20 million project.
The new plant would replace a power plant in the Docking State Office building. The state plans to demolish the Docking building.
The department is financing the new plan through a lease-purchase agreement. Lawmakers have said they have questions about it and weren’t informed before it was finalized.

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