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Compact expected to be approved would help Kansas fight wildfires

April 1, 2017 By Morgan Chilson The Kansas Senate approved a bill last week that should make it easier to get help from out-of-state resources if Kansas is faced with more devastating wildfires in the future. The bill would give approval for the state to join the Great Plains Interstate Fire Compact, which would make […]

Senate gives OK to budget that won’t balance without cut or tax hikes

March 29, 2017 By Jonathan Shorman TOPEKA – A state budget that sets out nearly $13 billion in spending over the next two years cleared a key hurdle in the Senate on Wednesday, but the bill would leave Kansas hundreds of millions of dollars in debt without new revenue. The budget given first-round approval functions primarily […]

Kansas Senate votes to expand Medicaid

March 27, 2017 By Jonathan Shorman TOPEKA – The Kansas Senate voted to expand Medicaid on Monday, days after Congress abandoned legislation that would have blocked expansion. Senators voted 25-13 to give early approval to expansion, with a final vote expected Tuesday. The House has already passed the bill. Gov. Sam Brownback signaled a likely veto […]

Kansas Senate votes to expand Medicaid as Gov. Sam Brownback doubles down on opposition

March 27, 2017 By Hunter Woodall and Bryan Lowry TOPEKA – Kansas lawmakers ignored Gov. Sam Brownback’s wishes Monday and gave initial approval to a bill that would expand Medicaid to thousands in the state. The Kansas Senate voted 25 to 13 to expand KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program, after a lengthy debate Monday afternoon. […]

Senators assessing idea of elections for county appraisers in Kansas

March 24, 2017 By Tim Carpenter A Senate committee dropped into the legislative hopper a bill requiring election of the people now appointed by county commissions to appraise property for tax purposes. The proposal by Sen. Larry Alley, R-Winfield, would place county or district appraisers on ballots starting with the general election in November 2018. […]

RELEASE: Don McGuire announces plan to run against Sen. Jim Denning

TOPEKA – Don McGuire, of Overland Park, announced today that he will run against Sen. Jim Denning in 2020 to represent the 8th Senate District, which includes a portion of Johnson County. “Senator Denning’s loyalty to Gov. Brownback prevents him from doing the right thing and has proven he was willing to say anything to win […]

Chamber poll dings state on amount it spends on school administration, taxes, other topics

January 16, 2017 By Peter Hancock TOPEKA — The Kansas Chamber released survey results Monday that showed taxes and health care costs are the top public policy concerns among business owners and leaders in the state, and that most believe Kansas schools spend too much on administration. Those results were generally consistent with previous surveys the […]

Brownback plan would increase KPERS costs by $6.5 billion over time Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article126105304.html#storylink=cpy

January 12, 2017 By Bryan Lowry and Hunter Woodall TOPEKA  Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan to save Kansas money now would eventually increase the state’s long-term pension costs by $6.5 billion, the pension system’s executive director says. Alan Conroy, the executive director of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, briefed the Senate budget committee Thursday on […]

Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget plan faces strong opposition in Kansas

January 11, 2017 By Brian Lowry and Hunter Woodall TOPEKA  Gov. Sam Brownback wants to increase alcohol and tobacco taxes and take more money from the highway fund to help avert a projected shortfall of more than $900 million over 18 months. He also wants to liquidate a long-term investment fund and sell off the […]

GOP division offers Kansas Democrats opportunities, and pitfalls

January 16, 2017 By Jonathan Shorman jonathan.shorman@cjonline.com Senate Democrats have taken notice of the growing division between the chamber’s Republican leaders and the GOP governor – a feud that represents potential opportunity, and peril, for the minority party. Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, condemned the verbal bombs lobbed last week between Senate President Susan […]

Topeka may need to win over opponents of abandoned property bill to avoid Brownback veto

January 15, 2017 By Jonathan Shorman jonathan.shorman@cjonline.com For years, Kansas City Sen. David Haley has vehemently opposed legislation to make it easier for cities to gain control of abandoned property. The city of Topeka plans to introduce this year’s version in the coming week, and if it wants the anti-blight measure to become law it […]

Why children’s advocates worry about future tobacco settlement payments

January 15, 2017 By Peter Hancock TOPEKA — For the past week or so, visitors coming into the Kansas Statehouse through the public entrance are greeted with a poster display stretched out along the main corridor, touting the benefits of a program called the Children’s Initiative Fund. But those posters were not put there by […]

Brownback’s plan to sweep more highway money faces pushback

January 14, 2017 By Dion Lefler and Brian Lowry dlefler@wichitaeagle.com and blowry@wichitaeagle.com Larry Hauth has a farm in Coffey County and a daughter in Wichita. Good roads are kind of important to him. So he’s disturbed by the ongoing and accelerating trend of the state taking money out of the highway fund to balance the […]

The quandary over tax overhaul: Repealing LLC loophole won’t be enough

January 13, 2017 Peter Hancock In their first joint news conference of the session, the two Democratic leaders of the Legislature said they believe the only long-term solution to the state’s ongoing budget problems is through taxes, and specifically repealing many or all of the sweeping tax cuts that Republican Gov. Sam Brownback championed in […]

National Guard Bureau asks for review of Kansas National Guard at request of adjutant general

January 13, 2017 Jonathan Shorman jonathan.shorman@cjonline.com The National Guard Bureau will review the Kansas National Guard, the state organization said Friday, after disclosure of evidence of “toxic leadership” within the state guard. Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, who leads the Kansas Guard as adjutant general, asked for the review following a story on Sunday in The […]

Brownback budget relies on borrowing idle funds, continued raids on highway money; critics call it ‘delusional’

January 11, 2017 By Peter Hancock TOPEKA — Gov. Sam Brownback offered his long-awaited plan Wednesday for digging the state out of its budget hole, suggesting the state should borrow from its idle funds and use other one-time sources of money to get through the final two years of his administration — a plan that […]

GOP senators and Brownback trade barbs over budget after proposal draws poor reviews

January 11, 2017 By Jonathan Shorman jonathan.shorman@cjonline.com Senate GOP leaders lashed out against Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget proposal Wednesday, arguing the plan lacked a true structural fix to the state’s shortfall. Brownback’s office hit back, accusing Senate President Susan Wagle of preferring tax hikes and “punishing” across-the-board cuts. The conflict turned a long-running cold war […]

4 GOP leaders, Democrats rip Brownback’s proposed budget fixes

January 11, 2017 By Post Staff TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget and tax proposals (all times local): Four Republican leaders in the Kansas Senate have issued a joint statement criticizing GOP Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget-balancing proposals. The statement Wednesday criticized Brownback for proposing to increase taxes on wine, […]

Brownback warns against repealing tax exemption

January 10, 2017 By Bryan Lowry and Dion Lefler blowry@wichitaeagle.com and dlefler@wichitaeagle.com Gov. Sam Brownback warned incoming lawmakers not to repeal his signature tax exemption for some business owners and to not even think about expanding Medicaid for the state’s working poor. He called Kansas “the envy of the world” in his State of the […]

Kansas legislators convene session with confidence, trepidation

January 9, 2017 By Tim Carpenter timothy.carpenter@cjonline.com The 2017 session of the Kansas Legislature began Monday with dozens of new lawmakers taking the oath of office feeling a complicated mixture of optimism and dread about dealing with a $350 million budget shortfall, rewriting the school-finance formula and demands for tax policy reform. The House and […]

RELEASE: Democrats announce bills benefiting working Kansans

Democrats announce bills benefiting working Kansans TOPEKA –Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley (Topeka) and House Democratic Leader Jim Ward (Wichita) were joined by members of the House and Senate Democratic caucuses today to roll out more than a dozen bills that directly benefit Kansas workers. “Democrats are working to strengthen the Kansas workforce, to protect […]

Kansas lawmakers fear further delays to $100 million KPERS payment

September 12, 2016 By Jonathan Shorman jonathan.shorman@cjonline.com Lawmakers fear Kansas will not make good on its promise to pay $100 million to its pension system that it withheld earlier this year on the condition the amount is paid with interest by 2018. Members of the Joint Committee on Pensions and Investments said Monday the Legislature […]

Legislators push back against Gov. Brownback’s personnel changes

September 6, 2016 By Tim Carpenter timothy.carpenter@cjonline.com Bipartisan skepticism surfaced Tuesday among legislators on a regulatory advisory committee studying the Kansas Department of Administration’s plan for altering policy on employee layoffs and rehiring, annual performance ratings, and donation of unused sick leave. The administration of Gov. Sam Brownback hasn’t recently raised the prospect of broad […]

Local lawmakers react to governor’s education funding request

Channel 6 News, Lawrence September 1, 2016 Written by James Ryan Roberts Wednesday Governor Sam Brownback called for public input on school funding in Kansas, a conversation local legislators say is long overdue. “We’ve known for two years that this is an issue that needs to be addressed and it only needs to be addressed […]

Community rallies teachers despite education cuts

Channel 6 News, Lawrence, KS August 12, 2016 Written by Paige Vaughn The Lawrence community came together to welcome teachers and staff back to school Friday morning. After recent cuts to education, the community is hoping the warm welcome will encourage teacher to stay in the field. “This coming year the state legislature will be […]

Faust-Goudeau: DCF goal should be bringing families back together

The following was originally published July 27, 2016, by KWCH 12: By Jacob Albracht Wednesday’s report on the Legislative audit into the Department for Children and Families doesn’t address the speed or efficiency in bringing families back together, but that’s a major issue overall according to one state senator. (FIND LINK TO THE FULL AUDIT […]

Fifth generation Kansan files to run for 40th Senate District

TOPEKA – Alex Herman, of Hays, filed today with the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office for the Senate’s 40th District, which includes Cheyenne, Decatur, Ellis, Gove, Graham, Logan, Norton, Rawlins, Sheridan, Sherman, Thomas, Trego, and Wallace counties along with portions of Phillips county. “The voices of northwest Kansans are not being heard in Topeka,” said […]

Wichita Attorney files for 27th Senate District

TOPEKA – Tony Hunter, of Wichita, filed last week with the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office for the Senate’s 27th District, which includes the northwest portion of Sedgwick County. “The current Legislature has failed to understand and fulfill the most basic responsibilities of government,” said Hunter. “Those responsibilities include having an independent judiciary and adequately […]

Fredonia business owner switches parties, files to challenge Forrest Knox

TOPEKA – Carl Shay, Jr., of Fredonia, filed Tuesday with the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office for the Senate’s 14th District, which includes Chautauqua, Coffey, Elk, Greenwood, Wilson, and Woodson counties along with portions of Butler, Cowley, Labette, and Montgomery counties. “I decided to change parties when I came to the conclusion that the Kansas […]

Senate Democrats vote against bathroom resolution, condemn lack of action on school finance ruling

The following press release was sent on June 1, 2016: TOPEKA – Senate Democrats today voted unanimously against a resolution in the Kansas Senate regarding the use of school bathrooms by transgender students. “Senate Democrats believe taxpayer dollars have just been wasted on an election year charade over which bathroom students should use,” said Senate […]

Kansas attorney general’s office, Senate strike back on transgender restroom use

The following was published on June 1, 2016, by the Wichita Eagle: Kansas is joining a legal challenge to the Obama administration’s directive to local schools on the rights of transgender students. The announcement Wednesday came a day after an appeals court in Virginia declined to hear a school district’s appeal of a case involving […]

Kansas lawmakers pass resolution on school bathroom use, don’t take action to keep schools open

The following was originally printed by the Lawrence Journal-World: By: Peter Hancock June 1, 2016 Topeka — Kansas lawmakers formally adjourned the 2016 legislative session Wednesday without addressing last week’s state Supreme Court decision that threatens to close public schools because of inequitable school funding. But the Senate did pass a resolution opposing new federal […]

Ben Poteete to challenge Dan Kerschen for the 26th district in the Kansas Senate

Former Paratrooper, Friends University graduate student,  running for District 26 Senate Seat Goddard – Ben Poteete, a former Paratrooper from the 82nd Airborne Division, Goddard High Grad, and Friends University graduate student, filed today to challenge Dan Kerschen for the 26th district in the Kansas Senate. “I am extremely disappointed with the path the state […]

Johnston to challenge Tyson for Kansas Senate

Johnston to challenge Tyson for Kansas Senate TOPEKA – Chris Johnston, of Ottawa, filed today with the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office to run for the Senate’s 12th District, which includes Anderson, Franklin, and Linn counties along with portions of Allen, Bourbon, and Miami counties. “I am very unhappy with the path Gov. Brownback and […]

Susan Fowler files for the 17th Senate District

News Release For More Information, Contact: May 12, 2016   Susan Fowler, 620-366-1316 Susan Fowler files for the 17th Senate District TOPEKA – Susan Fowler, of Emporia, filed Wednesday with the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office for the Senate’s 17th District, which includes Lyon county and portions of Geary, Pottawatomie, and Wabaunsee counties. The seat […]

Senator Pat Pettey files for second term in Kansas Senate

Pettey files for second term in Kansas Senate TOPEKA – Senator Pat Pettey, D-Kansas City, announced today that she has filed with the Kansas Secretary of State for a second term serving the Senate’s 6th District.  Pettey was first elected in 2012. “It is an honor to serve the people of the 6th District in […]

Hawk seeks second term in the Kansas Senate

TOM HAWK FOR KANSAS SENATE News Release For More Information, Contact: January 7, 2016 Tom Hawk, (785) 341-4162 Hawk seeks second term in the Kansas Senate TOPEKA – Senator Tom Hawk, of Manhattan, today filed with the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office for re-election to the Senate’s 22nd District, which includes Riley and Clay counties […]

Don Shimkus files to challenge Abrams

Don Shimkus For State Senate News Release For More Information, Contact: April 25, 2015   Don Shimkus, 620-440-6311 Don Shimkus files to challenge Abrams for 32nd Senate District TOPEKA – Don Shimkus, of Oxford, filed by petition Friday to run against Sen. Steve Abrams for the 32nd district, which includes Barber, Comanche, Harper, and Sumner […]

Lynn Rogers officially files to run against Sen. Michael O’Donnell

LYNN ROGERS FOR STATE SENATE News Release For More Information, Contact: September 15, 2015   Lynn Rogers, 316-262-4716 Lynn Rogers officially files to run  against Sen. Michael O’Donnell TOPEKA – Lynn Rogers, of Wichita, today officially filed with the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office to run against Sen. Michael O’Donnell for the Senate’s 25th District, […]

Lynn Rogers, longtime Wichita School Board Member, to run for 25th Senate District

LYNN ROGERS FOR STATE SENATE News Release For More Information, Contact: August 4, 2015   Lynn Rogers, 316-262-4716 Lynn Rogers, longtime Wichita School Board Member, to run for 25th Senate District TOPEKA – Lynn Rogers, of Wichita, today announced that he plans to file for the Senate’s 25th District, which includes a portion of Sedgwick […]

Southwest Johnson County Mayor to Challenge Senator Julia Lynn

Southwest Johnson County Mayor to Challenge Senator Julia Lynn Gardner – Chris Morrow, Mayor of Gardner, announced today that he is running for the Kansas State Senate. Morrow has served his community since 2011, when he was elected to city council; he was elected, again, as mayor in 2013. “For years I have followed the […]

Don Merriman announces plan to run against Sen. Tom Arpke

DON MERRIMAN FOR STATE SENATE News Release For More Information, Contact: December 1, 2015   Don Merriman, 785-452-0560 Don Merriman announces plan to run against Sen. Tom Arpke TOPEKA – Don Merriman, of Salina, announced today that he will run against Sen. Tom Arpke to represent the 24th Senate District, which includes Saline County and […]

Our Candidates

Learn more about the men and women across our state who are running to serve in the Kansas State Senate.

Candace Ayars files to challenge Vicki Schmidt for 20th Senate District

Candace Ayars For State Senate For More Information, Contact: Candace Ayars, 785-249-9220 Public Health Doctor files to challenge Vicki Schmidt for 20th Senate District TOPEKA – Candace Ayars, of Topeka, filed Monday with the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office for the Senate’s 20th District, which includes parts of Shawnee and Wabaunsee Counties. The seat is […]

Sen. Laura Kelly: KDHE has ‘bad rep’ over access to information regarding KanCare

April 28, 2015 By Jonathan Shorman jonathan.shorman@cjonline.com A Democratic senator slammed the state agency running KanCare on Tuesday over difficulty in obtaining data about the program’s performance. Sen. Laura Kelly, of Topeka, criticized the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, which oversees the state’s Medicaid program, during a meeting of the Legislature’s KanCare Oversight Committee. […]

Senate Democrats Oppose GITMO Transfers

For Immediate Release March 17, 2016 HCR 5024: Polarizing and Uncivil Topeka, KS – Today, the members of the Kansas Senate Democratic caucus, in a letter to President Obama, requested that the President not transfer prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth. The letter, which addresses safety and security concerns, notes the […]

Kansas Senate committee considers limiting number of children in foster homes

The following article was originally published February 11, 2016, by the Topeka Capital-Journal: By Justin Wingerter justin.wingerter@cjonline.com A Kansas Senate committee considered reforms to the state’s foster care system Thursday, including strict limits on the number of children in a foster home. Senate Bill 315, introduced by Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau, D-Wichita, would limit the number […]

Haley supports Senate action to make sure judicial branch is funded

The following was published January 28, 2016, by Wyandotte Daily Online: State Sen. David Haley, D-4th Dist., spoke on the Kansas Senate floor today about the necessity to uphold the separation between the different branches of government. The Senate took action today to make sure the judiciary branch was funded. At issue was a law […]

Kansas lawmaker, allies push for renewable energy

Channel 6 News, Lawrence December 6, 2013 Written by Associated Press A Kansas Senate Democrat and her allies plan to push next year for policies promoting renewable energy because of concerns about climate change. A key Republican lawmaker is interested in the same issues, but he worries the policies will lead to higher electric rates. […]