High Plains Public Radio

Governor Sam Brownback

Nigel Parry / CNN

Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton by double digits in Kansas, according to a new poll.

As The Wichita Eagle reports, the New York billionaire is ahead of the former Secretary of State by 12 points, 48 percent to 36 percent.

Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein drew 8 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

In the race for U.S. Senate, Sen. Jerry Moran has a comfortable lead over his Democratic opponent Patrick Wiesner.

Kansas City Star

A new poll by a GOP polling firm has found a big problem for Kansas Senate candidates this fall, and his name is Sam Brownback.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

In Kansas, tax revenues for the month of August came in more than $10 million short of expectations, according to the Kansas Department of Revenue.

That means, notes The Lawrence Journal-World, in order to balance the state budget Gov. Sam Brownback may need to order more spending cuts.

AP photo

While the U.S. at large gained workers at a healthy pace last month, unemployment in Kansas is on the rise again. Kansas shed 5,600 jobs last month, sending the unemployment rate up to 4.1 percent in July. That’s up from its level of 3.8 percent in June.

Orlin Wagner / AP photo

Nebraska may want to look to the south for guidance, as two recent events in Kansas might provide some important budgetary lessons. Firstly, last week S&P dropped the Sunflower State’s credit rating for the second time in two years.

Chris Neal / Topeka Capital-Journal/AP

Last week The New York Times editorial board waded into Kansas politics to laud the decision by voters in the state’s GOP primary. Last Tuesday, moderate Republicans in Kansas scored a dozen “impressive victories” over their far-right opponents. The primary’s losers were all loyal to the state’s beleaguered governor, Sam Brownback.

Doug Mills / New York Times

This week’s Kansas primary election is being seen as a repudiation of Sam Brownback’s tax policy, reports The Wall Street Journal. At least 11 conservative state lawmakers in Kansas were ousted on Tuesday. Many were allied with Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

Three months ago, Standard & Poor’s Rating Services announced that Kansas had about a 50-50 chance of having its credit rating downgraded again. Last week, the bad news arrived. The company has downgraded Kansas from a AA to a AA- rating.

Only Illinois, Kentucky and New Jersey now have worse credit ratings than Kansas.

Joe Ledford / Kansas City Star

Kansas gained almost five thousand jobs in June and now has record employment for the state, reports The Kansas City Star. But those numbers belie a more trouble state of affairs. Kansas had the seventh worst job growth rate in the country over the past twelve months. The state’s growth rate inched along at only 0.2 percent.

nps.gov

This June, Kansas revenue collections fell approximately $33 million short of estimates, reports The Hays Daily News.

June marks the conclusion of a financially disastrous fiscal year for the Sunflower State. Over the past year, Kansas took in more than $100 million less than anticipated. Revenue sources have slumped—and, in some cases, plunged—during the past year.

Topeka Capital-Journal/AP

Sam Brownback is making some powerful enemies in his own state, reports The Topeka Capital-Journal. Four former Kansas governors have formed a political group to raise opposition to the policies of the current governor and his allies in the Kansas House and Senate. The effort is known as the Save Kansas Coalition. Former governors Bill Graves, Mike Hayden, Kathleen Sebelius and John Carlin have all sent out letters to potential donors to fund the effort.

Orlin Wagner / AP photo

A week after the New York Times editorial board took Oklahoma to task for the state’s failure to avoid a $1.3 billion—thus leaving the poorest in the state holding the bill—the Times has now put Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax policies in the crosshairs. The paper’s editorial, “Kansas Schools, Victims of Bad Tax Policy,” minced no words.

KHI news service

From the Kansas Health Institute:

Budget cuts to the Kansas Water Office should not result in any layoffs but could delay some reservoir maintenance projects, the head of the office said this week.

Jim McClean / KHI news service

From the Kansas Health Institute:

The 2016 election could be a tough one for some Kansas lawmakers hoping to return to the Statehouse.

Polls, editorials and reader comments on news websites indicate that voters are paying attention to what’s happening in Topeka, and many don’t like what they’re seeing.

Kansas City Star

Last week was a rough week for Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. First, the governor was forced to slash another $97 million from the budget. Those cuts came on top of an additional $185 million diverted from highway funds. Brownback also had to delay a $100 million payment into Kanas public employees’ pension plans.

Kansas Highway Patrol / Topeka Capital-Journal

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a bill into law that aims to fill vacancies in the state’s Highway Patrol service, reports The Kansas City Star. As a result, Kansas motorists should expect to pay higher vehicle registration fees beginning in July. The extra fees will go toward providing funds for the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Reuters

Planned Parenthood has filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Kansas over a plan to strip it of government healthcare funding, reports Newsweek. According to court documents released this week, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment plans to cut Planned Parenthood off from state Medicaid funds beginning next Tuesday. The agency is acting at the bequest of Governor Sam Brownback, who says no Kansas taxpayer money should go to Planned Parenthood.

Topeka Capital-Journal

Kansas brought in more tax revenue than expected last month, reports The Topeka Capital-Journal. The state exceeded projections by $2.6 million. However, the numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, as the state has scaled back projections twice during the current fiscal year.

Thad Allton / Topeka Capital-Journal

Walk into the Kansas state capitol’s rotunda in Topeka, and you’ll be confronted by four colossal statues of famous Kansans. In this hallowed room, Amelia Earhart, Dwight Eisenhower, Arthur Capper and William Allen White gaze down in silence at visitors to the capitol. The sculptor for these 2,000-pound statues is still going strong, reports The Topeka Capital-Journal.

politico.com

This week Kansas Governor Sam Brownback announced he’s pulling out of the federal government’s refugee resettlement program. The move comes after Brownback expressed repeated concern about the program for months. The governor said he had failed to get satisfactory answers, so the state is done, reports The Washington Post. The resettlement program has placed more than 2,000 global refugees in Kansas over the past four years.

The Wichita Eagle

If you live in Kansas, you might have heard the phrase “tobacco securitization” lately. It’s an idea that could help ease the burden from the state’s $290 million budget hole, reports The Wichita Eagle.

Governor Sam Brownback loves the idea. But what is it?

AP photo

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has signed a school finance bill in response to an order from the Kansas Supreme Court, reports the Garden City Telegram. With its order, the court intends to develop a more equitable education funding system.

Orlin Wagner / AP photo

In an attempt to understand how well Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s grand experiment of slashing taxes to stimulate economic growth has affected unemployment, The Pittsburgh Gazette recently compared the state’s stats with those of Nebraska.

Andy Marso / KHI news service

From the Kansas Health Institute:

More than half of Kansans who found jobs after losing assistance remain in poverty.

Gov. Sam Brownback made his case Thursday for why Kansas food stamp reforms should be a national welfare-to-work model, even though the study he used to support his claim showed almost 80 percent of Kansans affected remained in poverty.

Chris Neal / AP photo

A new Kansas bill has teachers up in arms, reports The Wichita Eagle. Educators say the potential law is an attack on public schools.

Kansas City Star

Last week a bill was proposed in the Kansas House of Representatives that would have given the governor more control over Supreme Court appointments. But the measure died Thursday, reports The Kansas City Star. The bill would have amended the Kansas constitution and given the governor full authority to select justices, subject to Senate confirmation.

nps.gov

The Kansas House budget committee has decided to make nice with the state’s judicial branch, reports The Hutchinson News. The committee has introduced a bill to eliminate a budget provision that was ruled unconstitutional by the state’s Supreme Court. Controversy erupted in 2014 when the Kansas Legislature adopted a bill to strip the Supreme Court of its authority to select district court judges.

www.kansas.com

The Kansas Highway Patrol has 82 fewer troopers than it did 10 years ago. And Southwest Kansas is suffering the most from a lack of troopers, reports The Wichita Eagle. 20 counties in Western Kansas have no troopers assigned to them. And 16 of those counties are in the southwest part of the state. Kansas is now seeking an increase in vehicle title fees to reverse that trend.

Wikimedia Commons

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and Kansas lawmakers say they won't consider increasing funding to public schools until they’re sure the money already spent on education is finding its way into the classroom. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that GOP lawmakers don't yet have a clear definition of what makes up classroom spending. Brownback said: “Right now, you've got this high percentage that's not getting to the classroom.”

Amy Bickel / Hutchinson News

From Kansas Agland:

MANHATTAN – Stakeholders gathered to hear about Kansas’ efforts to preserve water – but Gov. Sam Brownback admitted he was a little distracted with world issues.

Not that water wasn’t discussed at Brownback’s fourth annual Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas. Nor did Brownback minimize the topic.

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