Sam Brownback

New York Times

During Gov. Sam Brownback’s bid for re-election he assured Kansans he would balance the budget and preserve services by making government more efficient and cutting expenditures.  But, now there could be a rollback of the tax cuts that have been Brownback’s hallmark reports the New York Times.

Stephen Koranda / kpr.org

Governor Sam Brownback is staying tight-lipped about his plans to fix a hole in the state budget. Kansas Public Radio's Stephen Koranda reports, Brownback says he's looking at all the options.

Following a recent meeting at the Statehouse, Brownback gave few details to the media about what he'll propose. He says all options are on the table, including tax increases or slowing future scheduled decreases.

State government agencies under Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s direction aren’t yet changing their policies on recognizing marriages.

mspbwatch.org

Same sex marriages have the green light in Kansas.  The U.S. Supreme Court is not going to block the marriages while the state’s lawsuit is in appeals court.  Earlier a federal district judge stopped the state from enforcing its ban.. staying in line with an a federal appeals court ruling that struck down bans in Oklahoma and Utah.

commons.wikimedia.org

The keys to winning an election in Kansas when the pivotal issue is abortion are: voting guides in churches, fliers on car windshields in church parking lots, telephone calls, and knocking on doors.  

nathansnews.com

Revenue estimates for the state of Kansas are in, and the projections have a lot of red ink reported Stephen Koranda for Kansas Public Radio.  To balance the books for the current fiscal year, which is half over at the end of December, $279 million needs to be cut.  $435 million in reductions needs to be made to balance the upcoming fiscal year. 

ivn.us

What drove the tide of GOP victories in Kansas and proved many pollsters wrong?  Political Science Professor Chapman Rackaway of Fort Hays State University believes the answer is simple -- Republicans just turned out in greater numbers.  

In an interview with Stephen Koranda of Kansas Public Radio, Rockaway explained that the GOP accomplished that by using sophisticated data models and tools that helped them contact the right people, in the right way, and get them to vote.

Kansans, here's a little help in case you haven't voted yet.

FiveThirtyEight.com

With Election Day upon us, Nate Silver, the polling analyst famed for his accurate forecast of the 2012 election, has his final projections for hotly contested races in our region:

Both candidates for Kansas governor oppose the new EPA rule increasing the number of waterways subject to federal regulations.

kansascity.com

Survey results are in, Kansas says the two highest profile races in the election are very close according to a recent press release. Fort Hays State University’s Docking Institute of Public Affairs recently completed Kansas Speaks Survey 2014.

kwo.org

The water plan for the state of Kansas was recently unveiled.  The goal is to ensure a reliable water supply for the future according to a recent article from the Washington Times.

workingkansans.com

Kansas has a budget problem.  It’s collecting less tax money than it planned.  This spring, the state intended to take in $651 million from personal income tax, but only received $369 million. The decrease was due to a large and rather unusual income tax cut passed by lawmakers in 2012 according to The New York Times.

wikipedia.org

Kansas was one of 18 states that sided with Hobby Lobby in the court battle over opting out of the inclusion of contraceptives in their insurance coverage.  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby saying certain employers can opt out of including contraceptives in their insurance because of religious beliefs.  The reaction in Kansas followed predictable ideological lines reported Bryan Thompson for Kansas Public Radio.

kgs.ku.edu

Water rights holders in Western Kansas counties recently rejected a plan to conserve the Ogallala Aquifer.  Groundwater Management District No. 1 board members asked its voting membership to approve a measure to that would cut irrigation use by 20 percent reported Amy Bickel for Kansas Agland.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

The state of Kansas is loaning itself $675 million to be able to pay its bills.  That’s nothing new.  That’s how it’s been done for the last 16 years according to the Kansas Health Institute.

khi.org

Duane Goossen is a former state budget director, and he says the state won’t have enough revenue to implement the budget legislators recently passed according to a recent article from the Topeka Capital-Journal.

paralleluniverse38n.blogspot.com

More than half of Kansas counties were placed on the updated Drought Declaration by Gov. Sam Brownback this week.  105 counties are either in an emergency, warning or watch status according to the Hays Daily News.

kansas.com

Today is the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision ordering an end to segregation in public schools.  Governor Sam Brownback remembered Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka ruling by speaking at the former Monroe Elementary School in Topeka yesterday reported Kansas Public Radio

wikipedia.org

Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill this week that tells the U.S. government it has no authority to regulate prairie chickens within the state of Kansas.  The bill also threatens lawsuits against federal conservation efforts in an escalating dispute over reversing the population decline of the lesser prairie chicken according to a recent article from the Topeka Capital-Journal.

kcur.org

The three main KanCare contractors all lost money in their first year of managing health care for 380,000 Kansas Medicaid enrollees according to a recent article from the Kansas Health Institute.

The trio received cash infusions from their parent companies allowing them to meet their obligations and stay solvent.

cjonline.com

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed the school finance bill this week; complete with controversial add-ons reported the Topeka Capital-Journal

politico.com

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback recently signed 19 bills into law.  Topping the list was and a bill stripping the Kansas Supreme Court of its appointment power as well as changing the system’s management according to a recent article from the Kansas Health Institute.

watchdog.org

Gov. Sam Brownback recently announced that Kansas is joining a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the designation of the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species according to a recent article in the Wichita Eagle.

fhsu.edu

Last year the Kansas Legislature took money from universities, but Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposed budget restores the ‘salary cap’ reductions that cost Fort Hays State University $276,176 according to a press release from FHSU University Relations.

John Milburn / Associated Press

Kansas Chief Justice Lawton Nuss seemed to respond to Gov. Sam Brownback’s remarks pointed at the Supreme Court in his State of the Judiciary address reported Bryan Lowry for the Wichita Eagle.

ksn.com

Governor Sam Brownback said the number one item in the state budget is education in his recent State of the State speech according to a recent article from the Kansas Health Institute.  

Mike Shields

The Kansas Economic Policy Conference was recently held in Lawrence.  Conference officials said they had record turnout with about 140 people, including about a dozen legislators, attending in Lawrence and 15 participating from Ulysses via a live video feed reported the Kansas Health Institute.

kansasagnetwork.com

Kansas legislators wrapped up the special session in two days. 

Here are the highlights:

  • Approval of a bill repairing a law allowing convicted murderers to be sentenced to at least 50 years in prison.
  • Approval of multiple appointments by Gov. Sam Brownback, including the appointment of chief counsel Caleb Stegall to the Kansas Court of Appeals.

A growing group of Republicans across the country are working to repeal their states’ income tax, using Texas’ economic success to make their case (e.g., Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas proclaiming “Look out, Texas. Here comes Kansas.”). In Texas, however, the state’s tax system is not universally beloved as explained in this background article by Aman Batheja of the Texas Tribune that appeared in the Amarillo Globe-News.

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