The Week In News: Rural Health, Tax Collections And Lots Of Legislature
The Kansas Legislature convenes on Monday, and some of the biggest stories of the past week took a look at what we can expect from the 2017 session.
For the first time, the Kansas Legislature will make available audio streaming of some of its committee meetings when the 2017 session kicks off Monday. The goal is for all committee rooms to have streaming in place before the end of the session.
Kansas tax collections beat estimates by $6 million last month. It’s the second month a row that they exceeded estimates, which were lowered after tax collections had frequently missed the mark last year. Still, some officials are hopeful it’s the start of a new trend.
Days before the start of the 2017 legislative session, lawmakers from south-central Kansas held two forums in two days to hear from residents and local community leaders about issues like gun laws, tax policy, Medicaid expansion and education funding. People from across Kansas are heading to the Statehouse in Topeka on Wednesday to bring further concerns to lawmakers as part of the Kansas People’s Agenda Rally.
Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon reports that as prescription painkillers and heroin fuel a rise in drug addiction and overdoses in communities across the country, it’s rural areas that are being hit particularly hard. Researchers are struggling to find out why these communities are more susceptible, and look for solutions.