Kansas Postpones Overhaul on Disabilities Program
October 7, 2015

(AP) – The state of Kansas says it’s delaying an overhaul in how it provides services to people with disabilities.

The Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/1LiB4MF ) reports the state announced the delay Tuesday, after concerns about changes were voiced by people with disabilities, their families, providers and caretakers. Thousands of people would be affected by the overhaul.

The change announced in August would condense seven Medicaid waivers based on disability type into one universal waiver. State agencies wanted to switch over to the new waiver by July 1, but the delay pushes that back to Jan. 1, 2017.

In a news release, state Department of Health and Environment Secretary Susan Mosier said officials want to have the workings of waiver integration “firmly in place” before switching.

KCK, Wichita, Dodge City Get Federal Money for Police Body Cameras
September 21, 2015

(AP) – The federal government has awarded grants for law enforcement body cameras to Wichita, Dodge City and Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas.

U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said Monday the U.S. Justice Department grants are among $23.2 million awarded to 73 law enforcement agencies in 32 states to increase the use of body cameras. President Barack Obama has proposed buying 50,000 body cameras for law enforcement agencies in three years.

Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, will receive $352,500; Wichita will get $250,000 and Dodge City will receive $45,205.

Stay on a Kansas Abortion Law Remains in Place for Now
September 2, 2015

AP) – The Kansas Supreme Court is refusing for now to review a district court judge’s order blocking the nation’s first ban on a common second trimester procedure.
The high court’s 4-3 decision this week means that the state Court of Appeals first will handle a lawsuit filed by two abortion providers against a law that was supposed to take effect in July.
The law embodies model legislation from the National Right to Life Committee and bans what abortion opponents call “dismemberment abortion.”
Shawnee County District Judge Larry Hendricks in June temporarily blocked the law, and the state appealed.
Both sides wanted the Supreme Court to take the case immediately, but the court declined Monday without explanation. The Court of Appeals on Wednesday set an expedited schedule for its review

Federal Judge Makes It Official: Same Sex Marriage Ban in Kansas Is Gone
August 10, 2015

(AP) – A federal judge has voided the Kansas ban on same-sex marriages as unconstitutional in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the issue.
U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree summarily ruled Monday that the provision in the Kansas constitution that prohibits issuing marriage licenses same-sex couples or recognizing such marriages violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That ruling also applies to any Kansas statute, law, policy or practice that bars or fails to recognize such unions.
But Crabtree stopped short of issuing a permanent injunction so as to give Kansas the opportunity to voluntarily comply, as its attorneys have assured the court they will do.
The court says some facts in the court record suggest Kansas officials have not uniformly complied with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Kansas Says Same Sex Married Couples Can File 2014 Joint Return
July 14, 2015

(AP) – Gov. Sam Brownback’s office says same-sex couples in Kansas who were married last year after the state’s ban was struck down in November can file joint taxes for the 2014 tax year.
Brownback spokeswoman Eileen Hawley said Tuesday that same-sex couples who filed for an extension on their 2014 taxes or want to go back and amend their taxes may file jointly.
The Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/1M3TEbx ) reports the Kansas Department of Revenue said Monday that couples would be able to file jointly for the current 2015 tax year. Hawley says the agency reviewed its policy and confirmed that gay couples also will be able to file jointly for 2014.
Equality Kansas executive director Tom Witt hailed Tuesday’s announcement, saying married couples should be allowed to file their taxes as married.