2019 legislative session

The Republican-controlled Kansas House approved wide-ranging tax legislation Thursday. The measure would reduce sales taxes on food, which could help Kansans across the income spectrum. It would also give some big corporations a break, and that will likely spark a showdown with Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly.

Bills on drug sentencing, probation and marijuana possession stalled in the Kansas Legislature this year. Instead, lawmakers continue to consider appointing a task force to address the criminal justice system as a whole.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

A federal judge has set a new sentencing date for the California man who admitted making the hoax call that led police to fatally shoot a Kansas man following a dispute between two online gamers.

A court notice posted Friday shows 26-year-old Tyler R. Barriss will be sentenced on March 29. The hearing had been initially scheduled for Friday but was delayed when an unrelated trial took longer than expected.

Twice, Rep. Jarrod Ousley introduced bills that would create a watchdog over the Kansas agency in charge of looking after children from troubled families.

It’s a massive department hounded by stories of overlooked abuse cases and foster children caught in punishing patterns of shifting from one temporary home to the next.

Ousley says he’s dropping the idea of a state child advocate. For now.

J. Schafer / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Kansas universities and colleges have been living under a budget cut for several years. Now, House lawmakers recommend fully reversing the cut and increasing funding for higher education.

Chris Neal / For the Kansas News Service

A bill in the Kansas Legislature would let students escape bullying by transferring to a new school, either public or private.

But critics say the bill is little more than an attempt to send state dollars meant for public schools to private alternatives.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas would do away with the current voter registration deadlines under a bill in the Legislature.

Dan Skinner / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Lowering the state sales tax on food is an idea with broad support in Kansas, but it hasn’t happened because lawmakers haven’t figured out how to pay for it. Health advocates and grocery store owners asked lawmakers Monday to find a way to make it happen.

The new chairman of the Kansas Republican Party is focused on winning back the governorship and the 3rd Congressional District. He told party leaders this weekend how he plans to do it.

Johnson County attorney Mike Kuckelman was the only one to present a full slate of leadership candidates for party officials to consider at their state convention Saturday.

The Kansas House has rejected Gov. Laura Kelly's plan to refinance pension debt. But the new governor says that won't tank the state budget or doom her priorities, including Medicaid expansion. Should expansion come to be, it'll be Health Secretary Lee Norman's job to implement it, and he says it'll get good ROI. 


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