Kansas

GOP Holds Congressional Seat In KS | 04-14-2017

Kansas’ Republican Secretary of State Ron Estes defeated Democratic Wichita civil rights attorney James Thompson in a special election last Tuesday to fill the Fourth Congressional District seat vacated by Republican Mike Pompeo, who was appointed...

Health & Science - April 10 2017 | 04-07-2017

Kansas Vetoes HB 2044 The KANSAS House fails to override Gov. Sam Brownback’s (R) veto of HB 2044 , which would have expanded Medicaid in the Sunflower State to include people with incomes at 133 percent of the poverty line (KANSAS CITY STAR...

Health & Science - April 3 2017 | 03-31-2017

Oklahoma Senate Declines SB 226 The OKLAHOMA Senate Judiciary Committee declines to hear SB 226 , so-called “Good Samaritan” legislation that would have allowed Sooner State law enforcement discretion to not arrest someone who calls for...

Politics in Brief - March 13 2017 | 03-10-2017

High Court Rejects VA Districts Over Race: On a 7-1 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a lower court to re-review 11 legislative districts drawn by VIRGINIA Republicans after the 2010 Census. The districts are among a dozen that Democrats argued...

KS Gov Vetoes Income Tax Hike | 03-03-2017

Kansas’ Republican-controlled Senate followed the lead of the state’s Republican-led House last month and approved a major income tax increase, completing a reversal of course from the big tax cuts the GOP-controlled Legislature passed in...

KS House Approves Income Tax Hike | 02-17-2017

On Thursday (Feb. 16) Kansas’ Republican-led House gave final approval for a major income tax increase, marking a reversal of course from the big tax cuts the GOP-controlled Legislature passed in 2012 and 2013 at the urging of Gov. Sam Brownback...

Some States Better Positioned than Others for Fiscal Downturn | 02-03-2017

Twenty-five states ended the 2016 fiscal year with revenue collections that were below projections, and nearly that many were already forecasting shortfalls for the current fiscal year only months after it had begun, according to the National Association...

Budgets In Brief - February 6 2017 | 02-03-2017

Indian Gaming Boosting OK Economy Native American tribes have paid the state of OKLAHOMA over $1 billion in exclusivity fees since 2006, according to a report from the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association. The report also indicated that tribal gaming...

Politics In Brief - January 23 2017 | 01-20-2017

Thousands of Ballots Tossed in KS Thousands of provisional ballots cast in KANSAS in November were thrown out by election officials because no registration could be found for the voters who cast them. But some local election officials are concerned...

Politics In Brief - December 19 2016 | 12-16-2016

Lobbyist Spending Down in MA Lobbyist spending last year in MISSOURI - which totaled about $690,000 - was down by more than $200,000 from any other year on record, and spending has continued to fall this year, according to analysis of Missouri Ethics...

Trump Tax Plan Similar To ‘Real-Live Experiment’ In KS | 11-18-2016

To stimulate America’s economy, President-elect Donald Trump wants to cut personal income and business taxes by about $6 trillion over the next decade, a little more than 10 percent of federal revenues. That plan seems to be music to the ears of...

Politics In Brief - November 14 2016 | 11-11-2016

HI Senate to be Controlled Exclusively by Dems HAWAII’s sole Senate Republican Sam Slom was defeated by Democrat Stanley Chang on Nov. 8. As a result, the state’s 25-member Senate will become the nation’s first single-party chamber...

Budgets In Brief - November 7 2016 | 11-04-2016

VW Settlement to Offset Budget Cuts in MO MISSOURI Gov. Jay Nixon (D) said the state will use the first $8.7 million share it received from Volkswagen as part of a settlement over the German carmaker’s emissions cheating scandal to offset earlier...

Stay Classy, Kansas | 10-21-2016

Citing legal precedent is part and parcel to most any lawsuit. But one might think that a savvy legal beagle would avoid citing decisions more infamous than laudable. When it comes to Kansas Solicitor General Steven McAllister, one would be wrong. As...

Citizen Initiatives Push Ballot Measures Left This Year | 10-14-2016

In addition to state legislative elections that could flip party control of 18 chambers across the country, 157 statewide ballot measures will also be contested in 35 states on Nov. 8. The measures include an unusually high number of citizen initiatives...

Politics In Brief - October 10 2016 | 10-07-2016

Federal Appeals Court Blocks KS Voter Registration Requirement The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit has upheld an order blocking KANSAS Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) from requiring voters to show proof of citizenship when registering...

KS Considering Ending Monthly Revenue Reports | 10-07-2016

A task force appointed by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) in June to review the state’s revenue forecasting process has recommended ending the practice of issuing monthly reports comparing revenue estimates with actual collections. The task force...

Budgets In Brief - October 10 2016 | 10-07-2016

NV Stadium Special Session NEVADA Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) has called a special session to consider increasing room taxes in Clark County to finance $750 million of a proposed $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat stadium in Las Vegas - the potential new home of...

States Sue To Block Federal Overtime Rule | 09-30-2016

Twenty-one predominantly Republican-governed states have filed a federal lawsuit challenging a new Obama administration rule extending mandatory overtime pay to millions of American workers. The rule, which was finalized in May and takes effect in December...

KS Gov’s Advisory Council Abandons Economic Report | 09-30-2016

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s (R) economic advisory council is no longer compiling the quarterly review of economic markers handpicked by the administration as an accountability check for its economic policies. “A lot of people found them...

KS Lawmaker Wants To Give Budget Balance Law Teeth | 09-30-2016

A law on the books in Kansas requires the state to end each year with a budget balance equal to 7.5 percent of expenditures as a cushion against revenue fluctuations. But the state’s lawmakers often ignore that law. In fact, the state began the...

Court Blocks Voter Registration Requirement In Three States | 09-16-2016

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has ordered Alabama, Georgia and Kansas to stop requiring residents to provide proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a birth certificate or naturalization papers, when they register...

Budgets In Brief - September 19 2016 | 09-16-2016

Suspicious Tax Credits in OR An independent audit of renewable-energy projects that received Business Energy Tax Credits in OREGON uncovered enough circumstantial evidence to refer 79 of the projects - one in four, representing $340 million of the...

KS Govs Join Judicial Retention Fight | 09-09-2016

A quartet of former Kansas governors have waded into a bitter fight in Kansas over whether voters will opt to retain or remove four justices on the Sunflower State Supreme Court. Former Govs. Michael Hayden and Bill Graves, both Republicans, joining with...

Most States Allow Transportation Network Companies | 08-12-2016

Thirty-seven states have passed laws regulating transportation network companies (TNCs), according to the R Street Institute and LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking database. The most recent addition to that group is Delaware, where Gov...

Tough Day For GOP-Backed Voter Restrictions | 08-05-2016

Local and federal courts struck down Republican-backed voter restrictions in three states in a single day last month. A three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked a North Carolina law restricting the number of acceptable forms...

Politics In Brief - August 1 2016 | 07-29-2016

CO Voters to Consider Minimum Wage Increase A proposal to raise COLORADO’s minimum wage appears to be headed for the state’s November ballot, with backers saying this month that they expected to deliver 200,000 petition signatures to the...

Budgets In Brief - August 1 2016 | 07-29-2016

AL Gov Calling for Special Session on Lottery ALABAMA Gov. Robert Bentley (R) has called for a special session to consider a referendum on establishing a state lottery. Voters rejected a lottery proposal 17 years ago, but Bentley, who’s been...

Texas et al Win Challenge To Obama Immigration Policy | 07-15-2016

Twenty-five states joined Texas in challenging President Obama’s executive actions on immigration policy in November 2014, expanding temporary relief from deportation for undocumented immigrants. Fifteen states also filed amicus, or “friend...

KS Restricts Rights of 17,000 Voters | 07-15-2016

With little advance notice, a Kansas state board approved a temporary regulation last week that will block an estimated 17,000 Kansans from voting in state or local elections and only allow them to vote in federal ones. The action by the Kansas Rules...

Little Correlation Between Gun Laws and Worst Mass Shootings | 07-08-2016

Three of the eight states where the deadliest mass shootings since 1984 have occurred - California, Connecticut and New York - are among those with the strictest gun laws, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. None of those shootings took...

Texas Abortion Ruling Reverberates In Other States | 07-01-2016

Last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a 2013 Texas law requiring doctors and clinics that perform abortions to meet hospital-like standards resulted in the almost immediate effective invalidation of similar laws facing legal challenge...

Politics In Brief - June 20 2016 | 06-17-2016

KS GOP Urges Public to Lobby Supreme Court on School Funding The KANSAS House Republican Campaign Committee has taken out billboard-style ads urging citizens to call the state Supreme Court and urge it not to close the state’s schools. The court...

Budgets In Brief - June 13 2016 | 06-10-2016

OK Revenues Hit 6-Year Low OKLAHOMA Treasurer Ken Miller reported last week that state revenues fell to a six-year low in May, with collections in every major revenue category, including income taxes, sales taxes, motor vehicles taxes and taxes on...

States Consider Host of Pro- and Anti-LGBT Bills | 06-03-2016

Thirty-eight states have considered legislation this year aimed at either protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals from discrimination or denying such protection, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. The majority of the...

Business - May 23 2016 | 05-20-2016

Business In the Workplace The Obama administration announces new rules that raise the threshold for full-time salaried workers to be paid overtime to those making $47,476 per year, up from the current standard of $23,660. The change, which would impact...

Crime & Punishment - May 23 2016 | 05-20-2016

AZ, OH, OK Delay Executions Pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer announces it will enact protocols to ensure states are no longer able to use drugs it provides as part of carrying out a lethal injection execution. At least 20 other U.S. and European...

Education - May 23 2016 | 05-20-2016

PA Approves HB 1574 The PENNSYLVANIA House gives final approval to HB 1574 , which would broaden the Keystone State’s anti-hazing law to include public and private high schools. The bill, which makes it a third-degree misdemeanor when a student...

Politics In Brief - May 23 2016 | 05-20-2016

Judge Orders Acceptance of 18,000 Pending Voter Registrations A federal judge has ordered KANSAS officials to register thousands of prospective voters whose applications at the state’s motor vehicle offices have been derailed by the state’s...

Social Policy - May 23 2016 | 05-20-2016

OK Approves SB 1552 The OKLAHOMA Senate approves SB 1552 , legislation that would outlaw all abortions and subject providers to a loss of license and jail time. It moves to Gov. Mary Fallin (R) for consideration (OKLAHOMAN [OKLAHOMA CITY]). KS Gov...

Environment - May 16 2016 | 05-13-2016

KANSAS Gov. Sam Brownback (R) signs legislation barring Sunflower State agencies from conducting studies or doing other work toward complying with federal regulations meant to combat climate change by reducing carbon emissions from power plants until...

Business - May 9 2016 | 05-06-2016

TN Gov Signs SB 2109 TENNESSEE Gov. Bill Haslam (R) signs SB 2109 , which makes the Volunteer State the third to legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports games. The law establishes a regulatory framework for the industry, including a licensing process...

Budgets In Brief - May 9 2016 | 05-05-2016

KS Passes Unbalanced Budget KANSAS lawmakers ended their 2016 session by passing a $6.3 billion budget for next fiscal year that is roughly $22 million out of balance. Their budget bill ( SB 249 ) calls on Gov. Sam Brownback (R) to come up with...

GOP Backlash Against KS Gov’s Proposed Budget Fixes | 04-29-2016

Last month Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) proposed three options for closing his state’s projected $290 million budget hole: borrow against expected future proceeds from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, delay making a $100 million payment...

Crime & Punishment - May 2 2016 | 04-29-2016

CA Fails SB 966 A sufficient majority of the CALIFORNIA Senate fails to endorse SB 966 , which would have repealed mandatory sentencing enhancements for someone convicted of the sale, possession for sale, distribution or transportation of drugs such...

Politics In Brief - May 2 2016 | 04-29-2016

ME Gov Vetoes Clean Election Fix MAINE Gov. Paul LePage (R) vetoed a bill approved by the Legislature last month that would have pumped $500,000 into the state’s Clean Election Fund, enough to support the clean election candidates already running...

Crime & Punishment - April 18 2016 | 04-15-2016

HB 1947 Approved in PA The PENNSYLVANIA House approves HB 1947 , which would eliminate criminal statutes of limitation on child sex crimes and extend the window for victims of child sexual abuse to take civil actions to age 50. It moves to the Senate...

Flurry of Remote Sales Tax Bills in States This Year | 04-08-2016

At least a dozen states have introduced legislation in 2016 related to out-of-state, or remote, sales taxes, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking database. Most of the bills have been aimed at expanding the definition of a state...

Education - April 4 2016 | 04-01-2016

Education In KY The KENTUCKY House approves SB 228, which would require school boards to establish procedures to investigate bullying and protect bullying victims. It moves to Gov. Matt Blevin (R) for consideration (COURIER-JOURNAL [LEXINGTON]). ...

More States Oppose Obama Immigration Policy Than Support | 03-18-2016

Texas and twenty-five other states have filed suit to block President Obama’s executive actions in November shielding undocumented immigrants from deportation for three years, according to the Pew Research Center. Twelve states have filed an amicus...