Sam Brownback

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback's plan to cut income and business taxes is getting both praise and criticism in Topeka. Supporters and opponents of the plan sounded off today at a pair of Statehouse rallies.

A daily digest of headlines from KCUR.

  • Risk Unavoidable—With Or Without NBAF
  • Republican Primary Won't Decide Delegates in Missouri
  • Brownback Could Be Called As A Witness

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback could be called as a witness in an investigation into legislative dinners held at the governor's residence.

An audit released recently alleges misdeeds by former Kansas Bioscience Authority head Tom Thornton. The KBA is one of the groups that worked to help Kansas land the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) project.

Kansas Agriculture Secretary Dale Rodman blasted the Kansas Bioscience Authority today, saying the agency's board of directors hasn't fulfilled its duties. Rodman was selected by the governor to work with the company that recently audited the KBA. Rodman criticized the way the agency has been spending money.

More than 1,000 anti-abortion activists gathered at the Kansas Statehouse today. The annual rally coincides with the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that legalized abortion.

Members of a Kansas Senate committee today questioned officials on Governor Sam Brownback’s plan to cut costs in the Kansas Medicaid system.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback recently proposed restoring some funding for the state arts commission. Last year, Brownback withdrew all funding, making Kansas the first to end state funding for the arts. 

The Governor’s proposal calls for merging the Kansas Arts Commission and Kansas Film Commission into a new Creative Industries Commission under the Department of Commerce. The combined budget: $200,000.

A daily digest of headlines from KCUR:

  • Missouri Supreme Court Hears Redistricting Lawsuits
  • Brownback’s Budget Proposal Restores Some Arts Funding
  • New Play Tackles Bullying and Disability

At his annual State of the State address on Wednesday night, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback advocated a plan to cut taxes for roughly 1.6 million Kansans

He also outlined a plan to change the way Kansas public schools are funded, and called for the Kansas Legislature to fix the Sunflower State's state employee pension plan.

Democrats in the Kansas Legislature have unveiled a school funding plan as an alternative to the one introduced by Governor Sam Brownback.

The Democratic plan would increase school funding with the goal of restoring some of the cuts made in recent years. It would also provide about $45 million to help reduce local property taxes.

Representative Paul Davis of Lawrence is the top Democrat in the House. He says budget cuts to education in recent years have had a significant impact on schools.

  • KCK Casino Plans To Open Next Month
  • A Bloody Year In Kansas City
  • Brownback Heads To Iowa To Support Perry
  • K-State Preps For Cotton Bowl

topekazoo.org

  • Topeka Zoo Improving But Still May Face Penalties
  • Governor Brownback OK With Reopening Tax Break Talks for Keystone XL

Democrats in the legislature are introducing 14 bills they say will spur job growth and career training in Kansas.

The plans include speeding up a 10 year transportation plan, so jobs are created sooner. The legislation would also give businesses a tax credit for training apprentices.

House Minority Leader Paul Davis, a Lawrence Democrat, says he hopes the plan won’t get mired in partisan politics.

  • Kansas School Districts Examine New Funding Formula
  • Local Poultry Producers In A Bind
  • Blunt Says Failed Balance Budget Amendment Typical

Educators Pore Over New School Funding Formula

Dec 14, 2011
bigstock

Kansas school districts are digesting a sweeping school finance plan proposed today by Governor Sam Brownback.

He promises no district will lose state funds via the proposal, which is designed to give local boards a freer hand in spending. It would also allow districts to raise property taxes.

The property tax cap, set by state law, would be removed under the Brownback plan, which would go into effect in July 2013. President of the Shawnee Mission School Board Craig Denny was struck by that and another provision.

kansas.gov

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback spelled out the details of his school finance overhaul Wednesday. It would allow local taxpayers to raise property taxes as high as they wanted for education. Currently, school districts can only raise  a limited amount of funding from property taxes: a maximum of 30 percent of the funding they receive from the state.

Obama in Osawatomie; Riding with Teddy Roosevelt

The president is coming to Osawatomie, Ks. because of a speech given there more than 100 years ago. Teddy Roosevelt delivered a speech in 1910 that called for a "New Nationalism", and defended the government's role in regulating the economy, defending human welfare and property rights. Whitehouse deputy press secretary Josh Earnest says Obama will channel Roosevelt.  Frank Morris has more of the story.

Arts advocates are renewing their call for the governor and Legislature to restore state funding to the Kansas Arts Commission.

The National Endowment for the Arts, or NEA, says the Kansas Arts Commission is not eligible to receive federal matching funds.

Topeka, Kan. – The National Endowment for the Arts, or NEA, says the Kansas Arts Commission is not eligible to receive federal matching funds. That comes after Governor Sam Brownback vetoed the agency's budget earlier this year. As KPR's Stephen Koranda tells us, the governor wants private donations to fund the arts in Kansas.

In a contentious meeting on Tuesday, Linda Browning Weis, the chairwoman of the defunded Kansas Arts Commission, announced she'd sent a letter to the National Endowment for the Arts. Browning Weis argued the organization is still qualified to receive matching federal funds. The NEA released this statement today.

There was heated discussion on Tuesday at the meeting of the Kansas Arts Commission. The conflict was over how the state agency will work with a new private foundation that will raise money for arts programs in Kansas.

Kansas City, Mo. – There was heated discussion on Tuesday at the meeting of the Kansas Arts Commission. The conflict was over how the state agency will work with a new private foundation that will raise money for arts programs in Kansas.

New Kansas Bioscience Authority under construction in Olathe. Photo courtesy of KBA

The Kansas House voted unanimously last night to strip the troubled Kansas Bioscience Authority of bonding authority for the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility, or NBAF.

The vote gives the state Department of Administration charge over issuing $150 million dollars in bonds.

In a separate move, a provision added to a Senate bill requires the State Finance Department to approve any NBAF bonds.

The interim CEO of the troubled Kansas Bioscience Authority says the KBA will cooperate completely with the Governor's office in it's request for an independent audit. The Kan. legislature has been holding hearings in recent weeks.

LAWRENCE, Ks. – The Kansas Health Policy Authority is being restructured. The Authority administers the state's Medicaid program, oversees health benefits for state employees, and provides health policy advice to elected officials. Governor Sam Brownback wants to cut the agency's staff in half, eliminate its independent board, and reassign the agency's responsibilities. Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson reports on some of the implications of these changes.
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Salina, KS – Less than five years after it was created, the Kansas Health Policy Authority is on the chopping block. Governor Sam Brownback wants to abolish the agency, and merge its programs into the Department of Health and Environment.

The Brownback administration says doing so would save nearly $3 million dollars in administrative costs. With a budget of almost $1.5 billion, it's one of the largest operations in state government.

Topkea, KS – Governor-elect Sam Brownback today named his choices to head two health and human services agencies.

Dr. Robert Moser will head the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Moser currently works at the University of Kansas School of Medicine's Wichita branch. Before that he worked with Greeley County Health Services.

Moser says one of his priorities will be focusing on preventative medicine.

Topeka, KS – GOP candidate for governor, Kansas Senator Sam Brownback, has continued outlining what he calls his "Road Map for Kansas." He appeared in Emporia to detail how he would handle education.

Brownback is taking on state Senator Tom Holland, of Baldwin City, the Democratic nominee for governor.

Shawnee Mission, Kansas – June 10th, noon, was the filing deadline for Kansans who wanted to run for office. Some 25 hopeful state legislators, U.S. representatives, even 2 U.S. Senate candidates got in just under the gun.

There are 7 candidates - 6 of them Republican - running for the 1st Congressional district in Western Kansas. 9 filed for the Senate seat vacated by Sam Brownback.

Brownback, who is running for Governor, filed just 10 days ago. His primary opponent, Joan Heffington, filed yesterday.

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