Kansas

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CA Fails SB 966 A sufficient majority of the CALIFORNIA Senate fails to endorse SB 966 , which would have repealed mandatory sentencing enhancements for someone convicted of the sale, possession for sale, distribution or transportation of drugs such...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

Politics In Brief - March 14 2016 | 03-11-2016

AZ Restricts Collection of Early Ballots ARIZONA Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed a bill (HB 2023) passed by the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature that makes it a felony for anyone other than a family member, caregiver, roommate, election official...

Brownback Makes Big Cuts to KS University System | 03-04-2016

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) announced plans for a 3 percent immediate cut to the state university system after tax collections came in well below projections last month. The $17 million reduction will be spread across the six state universities,...

Crime & Punishment - March 7 2016 | 03-04-2016

Crime In VT The VERMONT Senate approves SB 241, which would make the Green Mountain State the first to legislatively legalize the sale and possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use. The measure, which would allow residents 21 and...

States Still Divesting from Iran | 02-12-2016

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books prohibiting at least some state pension or retirement funds from investing in companies that do a certain amount of business in Iran. Ten of those states also have laws on the books...

Crime & Punishment - February 15 2016 | 02-12-2016

Crime & Punishment in MD The MARYLAND General Assembly overrides a veto by Gov. Larry Hogan (R) of a bill that restores voting rights to felons before they finish parole or probation (WASHINGTON POST). Crime & Punishment in KS The KANSAS...

Budgets In Brief - February 15 2016 | 02-12-2016

Wolf Calls PA Finances ‘Ticking Time Bomb’ PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom Wolf (D) warned lawmakers last week that the Keystone State’s finances are a ticking “time bomb” leading the state toward “a fiscal catastrophe the...

Does This Mean Men Can Wear Mini-Skirts? | 02-04-2016

Speaking of the allure of the opposite sex...one Kansas lawmaker saw his own attempt to curtail such things blow up in his face last week. As Governing and the Kansas City Star report , Sen. Mitch Holmes has retracted rules he recently imposed on anyone...

Social Policy - February 1 2016 | 01-29-2016

The KANSAS Court of Appeals upholds a lower court’s decision that blocks a state law banning a common abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation. The vote was 7-7, but ties result in a validation of the lower court’s ruling. Attorney...

Where Am I Again? | 01-15-2016

Critics often contend that politicos live in their own little world. Proof positive these days could be Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (for any number of reasons), who took to Twitter recently to congratulate Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon for signing...

Budgets in Brief - January 18 2016 | 01-15-2016

Chicago to Consider Airbnb fee Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed an ordinance that would impose a 2-percent surcharge on home-sharing and vacation rentals like those offered through services like Airbnb and VRBO. The proposal also seeks to require...

KS Supreme Court Considers Own Authority | 12-18-2015

The Kansas Supreme Court heard oral arguments this month in a case concerning the authority of the high court itself. In 2014 the Kansas Legislature passed a bill taking the power to appoint chief district judges away from the state’s highest...

Suicides Up Significantly In Many States | 12-04-2015

Between 2007 and 2012, the number of annual suicide deaths rose by more than 30 percent in eight states, according to analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by Governing . The largest increase, 69.3 percent, was in Wyoming...

Politics In Brief - December 7 2015 | 12-04-2015

Lobbying disclosure limited in AZ Over 86 percent of the roughly $333,000 spent lobbying ARIZONA lawmakers in the first half of 2015 failed to identify who the money went to, continuing a trend dating back years. Loopholes in the state’s disclosure...

Flurry of Statehouse Action On Daily Fantasy Sports | 11-13-2015

Legislation related to daily fantasy sports (DFS) has been drafted or introduced this year in 16 states, according to LegalSportsReport.com, which covers the legal online sports wagering industry. The bills generally seek to legalize DFS in states that...

Budgets In Brief - November 16 2015 | 11-13-2015

MN Road Funding Gap MINNESOTA’s Department of Transportation has released a new estimate for the cost of repairing and expanding the state’s roads that predicts a nearly $4 billion, or 30 percent, bigger gap in unfunded road costs over...

Brain Dead in KS | 10-09-2015

It’s “Zombie Preparedness Month” in Kansas. While that might sound like a PSA warning of the latest brain dead shenanigans from Gov. Sam Brownback and his fellow Sunflower State lawmakers, it is not. As the Wichita Eagle reports, it...

Separation of Powers Battle Reaches Crisis Point in KS | 10-02-2015

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced last month that he was recusing himself from a court case concerning the state’s judicial system, and he called on the state’s Supreme Court justices to do the same in another related case. ...

Pre-election voting restricted in many states | 09-18-2015

In most states eligible voters can cast their votes before Election Day, either by going to the polls during designated early voting periods or by voting via absentee ballot. But 30 states have no early voting period, although 13 of those states allow...

States Try To Stop Rural Exodus | 09-04-2015

Population loss is nothing new to rural America. But it’s a trend that’s on the rise. Between 1994 and 2010, 759 rural counties in 42 states lost population, but since 2010 over 1,300 rural counties in 46 states have lost population, according...

Budgets In Brief - August 17 2015 | 08-14-2015

Kansas Retirement System Woes Moody’s Investors Service has given $1 billion in pension obligation bonds proposed by KANSAS an Aa3 rating, a notch below the state’s current overall rating. The Wall Street rating company said the bonds would...

Politics In Brief - August 17 2015 | 08-14-2015

MN House Members Age Increase The median age of MINNESOTA House members has increased by seven years - from 47 to 55 - since 1995. For senators the increase is eight years, from 47 to 55 (TWIN CITIES PIONEER PRESS). KS Cracks Down on Voter Fraud...

Budgets In Brief - August 10 2015 | 08-07-2015

NC Tentative On HB 943 The NORTH CAROLINA House tentatively approved a nearly $3 billion bipartisan bond proposal for roads and government infrastructure that would go before voters in the fall. Another vote was required in the House before HB 943...

KS Keeping Some Tax Credits Secret | 07-17-2015

According to Kansas’ Department of Revenue, in 2013 the state granted $622 million in income and privilege tax credits, allowing taxpayers to deduct various qualifying expenses from their taxes. But the state actually spent more than that amount...

Politics In Brief - July 13 2015 | 07-10-2015

States to Wrap Up Same Sex Marriage Cases The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered judges in LOUISIANA , MISSISSIPPI , and TEXAS to wrap up same-sex marriage cases in their states in line with last month’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The...

Budgets In Brief - July 13 2015 | 07-10-2015

VT Soft Drink Tax In Effect A new 6 percent tax on soft drinks took effect in VERMONT on July 1. The tax was part of a $30-million package approved by the state Legislature in May to help close a $113 million budget gap (BURLINGTON FREE PRESS). ...

Social Policy - July 13 2015 | 07-10-2015

KANSAS Gov. Sam Brownback (R) issues Executive Order 05-15, which bars the Sunflower State from taking any punitive actions against clergy or religious organizations that refuse to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies (LEXISNEXIS STATE NET).

Crime & Law Enforcement - June 15 2015 | 06-12-2015

LA House Approves HB 149 The LOUISIANA House gives final approval to HB 149, which would enact several new policies designed to temper penalties for marijuana possession in the Pelican State, including dropping the maximum penalty from 20 years in...

Budgets In Brief - June 15 2015 | 06-12-2015

CA Proposes SB 789 Drought-inspired legislation proposed in CALIFORNIA would authorize local water authorities to seek voter approval to impose 300 percent taxes on the bills of excessive water users. The bill (SB 789) needs a two-thirds majority in...

Budgets In Brief - June 8 2015 | 06-05-2015

NV Omnibus Tax Measure to Provide Education Funding The NEVADA Legislature passed a $1.5 billion omnibus tax measure combining AB 464 and SB 483 that, if signed by Gov. Brian Sandoval (R), will provide $600 million in additional funding for education...

Business - June 1 2015 | 05-29-2015

CA Approves SB 358 The CALIFORNIA Senate approves SB 358, which would bar employers from paying female workers less than men for performing “substantially similar” job duties unless they can show evidence of reasonable differences in training...

Politics In Brief - June 1 2015 | 05-29-2015

CO Signs HB 1057 COLORADO Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) has signed a bill (HB 1057) requiring citizen petitions for constitutional amendments to include estimates of the proposals’ fiscal impact. Currently such estimates aren’t required until...

Potpourri - June 1 2015 | 05-29-2015

KANSAS Gov. Sam Brownback (R) signs HB 2155, a bill that clarifies the legality of fantasy sports leagues in the Sunflower State. The measure codifies that fantasy leagues are games of skill and knowledge and not chance (LEGAL SPORTS REPORT). -- Compiled...

Brownback Gets Schooled | 05-08-2015

By now you probably know that the tax cuts championed by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback have been a fiscal disaster for the Sunflower State, creating an $800 million budget deficit and blowing up the state credit rating. Things are so bad that at least eight...

Business - May 11 2015 | 05-08-2015

NH Endorses HB 136 The NEW HAMPSHIRE Senate endorses HB 136, which would ban minors from using tanning beds. It goes to Gov. Maggie Hassan (D), who is expected to sign it into law (UNION LEADER [MANCHESTER]). KS Overrides Veto of SB 117 The KANSAS...

Politics In Brief - May 11 2015 | 05-08-2015

KS Approves SB 34 The KANSAS Senate has approved a bill (SB 34) that would grant the Secretary of State the authority to prosecute election fraud. LexisNexis State Net’s legislative prognosis tool places the bill’s chances of passage at...

Environment - May 11 2015 | 05-08-2015

CA Approves Emergency Water Usage Cuts Faced with historic drought conditions, the CALIFORNIA Water Resources Control Board unanimously approves an emergency order mandating a 25 percent cut in urban water use, the first such cut in state history ...

Governors In Brief - May 11 2015 | 05-08-2015

Ks and TX Friends of the Court In Florida Support Governors in KANSAS and TEXAS said they would file amicus briefs in support of FLORIDA Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) lawsuit against the Obama administration alleging the government is illegally coercing...

KS Welfare Law Draws Broad Criticism | 05-01-2015

Supporters of the new Kansas law restricting how welfare recipients spend their benefits (see KS AIMS TO LIMIT HOW WELFARE RECIPIENTS SPEND BENEFITS in the April 13 issue of SNCJ ) said it’s intended to push the poor to find work. “The...

KS Aims to Limit How Welfare Recipients Spend Benefits | 04-10-2015

Kansas House Bill 2258, passed by the Sunflower State Legislature this month, would prohibit recipients of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families from spending those funds on a long list of items including alcohol, cigarettes, lottery tickets, concerts...

Social Policy - April 13 2015 | 04-10-2015

ID Signs 189 IDAHO Gov. Butch Otter (R) signs HB 189, which requires doctors to be present when giving women abortion-inducing drugs. The measure effectively bars women from receiving those medications via telemedicine (IDAHO STATESMAN [BOISE]). ...

Budgets In Brief - April 6 2015 | 04-03-2015

Taxpayer Refunds for CO According to economic forecasts released last month, COLORADO will exceed its constitutional limit on tax collections under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights by $70-$220 million this fiscal year, triggering taxpayer refunds...

Budgets In Brief - March 23 2015 | 03-20-2015

Internet Sales Tax Re-Introduced In Senate The Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA), which would allow states to levy sales taxes on Internet transactions, has been re-introduced in the U.S. Senate. The MFA was approved by the previous, Democrat-controlled...

Education - March 9 2015 | 03-06-2015

Kansas Approves SB 56 The KANSAS Senate approves SB 56, which would allow Sunflower State teachers to be charged with a felony for including “harmful material” in their curriculum. It moves to the House (TOPEKA CAPITAL-JOURNAL). Arkansas...