Politics & Government

Capitol beats: ‘I don’t speculate on speculation’

Say what?

“I don’t speculate on speculation.”

Gov. Sam Brownback’s response to a column by Steve Kraske, which ran in The Eagle and the Kansas City Star, about the possibility that Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer is the target of a federal investigation.

“It is Day 89 of the #ksleg Session, and still, no budget bill has been run through the House.”

Rep. Stephanie Clayton, R-Overland Park, pointing out on Twitter on Friday that the House has yet to vote on a budget despite the lawmakers approaching the 90-day threshold.

$43,000 to $45,000

That’s about how much it’ll cost the state per day to keep the Legislature open past 90 days, which is supposed to be the length of the session.


Lawmakers and Uber have finally come to an agreement about regulations. The ride-hailing service, which announced its departure from Kansas this month over new regulations, said it would return if lawmakers pass SB 101, a compromise. It mandates less stringent insurance requirements than the previous bill and drops a requirement that drivers undergo background checks from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. The company would be barred from hiring drivers who have been convicted of a sexual offense, identity theft or other crimes.

The compromise bill was expected to be up for vote in the House on Friday, but now lawmakers say the vote probably will take place Monday or Tuesday. It’s expected to pass by a wide margin, putting an end to a months-long battle between legislators and the company. The controversy had sparked a social media backlash and barrage of angry e-mails from constituents.

News ahead

Gov. Sam Brownback will sign SB 154 on Monday, making several changes to the state’s unemployment insurance system. The bill would eliminate a requirement that workers in the Kansas Department of Labor’s unemployment insurance department be hired based on a merit exam. Critics say that could jeopardize $18 million in federal funding.

The Legislature will also resume work on crafting a tax package to fill the state’s $400 million budget hole. That process has been slow thus far.

Bryan Lowry

For more legislative news, go to www.kansas.com/politics and follow @BryanLowry3 on Twitter.