Kansas lawmakers pass school finance bill merging funding equity with education reforms

Kansas lawmakers late Sunday narrowly passed a school finance bill that ties reforms championed by conservatives to fixing a spending gap between rich and poor schools. The House and Senate passed a bill that spends $126 million to bridge wealth-based disparities in the school funding formula, strips teachers of due process rights and promotes school choice. The bill now goes to the governor to sign.

With funds restored, Kansas City’s film office will roll again

Kansas City government quit funding a film office more than a decade ago, but the new budget provides money to reopen that office, in partnership with the Convention and Visitors Association. Film advocates say it’s a welcome and crucial move to give Kansas City a foot in the door for all sorts of film opportunities.

Medicaid change sought for disabled, elderly in Missouri

Some Missouri Republicans have remained adamantly opposed to expanding Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of adults by tapping into billions of federal dollars available under President Barack Obama’s health care law. Yet support has been quietly growing among some of those same Republicans for a mini Medicaid expansion.

There are no absolutes in education debate

The Kansas City school board’s vote to delay the sale of Westport High School stoked accusations that members who voted “no” did so out of a reluctance to see a charter school take over the space. The idea that charters are staking out too much turf in the district isn’t new, but it doesn’t hold the same clout it once did.

Angry families want GM prosecuted for defects

The families of those who died in General Motors cars with defective ignition switches want prosecutors to go after GM insiders responsible for letting the problems fester for more than a decade — and perhaps for covering them up.

Rewards of a political convention are wrapped in risks

Bringing the 2016 Republican National Convention to Kansas City would mean millions of dollars, invaluable publicity and a chance for a newly vibrant community to pop its buttons before the world. That’s the promise. It would also mean a beefy and expensive police presence, potential confrontations with disruptive anarchists and pesky logistical hurdles for hundreds of businesses and thousands of residents. That’s the threat.

Kansas lawmakers pass school funding bill that would eliminate teacher tenure

Kansas lawmakers late Sunday narrowly passed a school finance bill that ties reforms championed by conservatives to fixing a spending gap between rich and poor schools. The House and Senate passed a bill that spends $126 million to bridge wealth-based disparities in the school funding formula, strips teachers of due process rights and promotes school choice. The bill now goes to Gov. Sam Brownback to sign.

Kansas lawmakers approve small abortion changes

The Kansas Legislature has approved abortion legislation that addresses legal issues raised in state and federal lawsuits filed by abortion providers, avoiding a larger debate this year over proposals to ban the procedure early in pregnancy.

Kansas House passes school equity plan

The House plan, praised by Gov. Sam Brownback, is more generous and less controversial than a Senate bill passed in the wee hours Friday morning. A House-Senate conference committee is taking up the issue.

Medicaid expansion divides Missouri Republicans

An effort by some in the GOP to expand eligibility for the federal health insurance program, led by Sen. Ryan Silvey of Kansas City, will probably fall short this year. But it reveals fissures in the GOP blanket objection to anything related to Obamacare and may signal the possibility of a breakthrough next year.