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Members of the Kansas House are scheduled to debate a tax plan Wednesday that would raise income tax rates and repeal an income tax exemption for more than 300,000 business owners. It’s the first tax bill that will be debated by one of the full chambers this year.

Kansas lawmakers are looking at ways to erase budget deficits that total around $1 billion by the middle of 2019. They started cutting taxes several years ago and the bill they’ll debate would undo some of the cuts.

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A proposed bill would compensate wrongfully convicted people in Kansas $80,000 for each year served in prison and give them an additional $1 million if they were on death row.

The bill, if signed into law, would make Kansas one of the most generous states for exonerated people. The state currently doesn't have a law for wrongful conviction compensation.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

The Wichita City Council voted Tuesday for more security upgrades to Old Town. The council approved a contract with Sandifer Engineering and Controls to install up to 100 surveillance cameras around the entertainment district.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

Wichita Public Schools' budget for this year has been proceeding according to plan. Next year, though, is another story.

On Monday night, Susan Willis, chief financial officer for the district, told school board members that budget planning for the 2017-18 school year is "the perfect storm of unknowns."

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File Photo

The Kansas Senate is setting itself up for a wide-ranging floor debate this week on tax plans to end a series of annual budget deficits by raising more revenue.

Senate Vice President Jeff Longbine said the inability to privately rally 21 votes for a plan means it’s time to get ideas out in the open and see what rises to the top.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Opponents of the death penalty are making a new push to repeal capital punishment in Kansas. They hope the crop of new lawmakers could give repeal efforts a new chance. They made their arguments on Monday at the Statehouse.

Celeste Dixon’s mother was murdered in Texas, and her killer was executed. Dixon, who lives in Larned, says she used to support the death penalty, but she now believes the money spent on Kansas death row cases could be better used in other law enforcement.

As part of this Valentine's Day edition of the KMUW Movie Club, the guys pick their favorite couples to have ever adorned the silver screen. Following that discussion, the group gives their take on the recently released Oscar Nominations.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement

A local immigration activist says recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests across the Midwest have immigrant communities on edge.

Guadalupe Magdaleno is the executive director of Sunflower Community Action, a nonprofit advocacy group in Wichita. She says the reports of widespread enforcement by immigration officials have fueled fear and rumors.

“The community has been calling us nonstop," she says. "They have a lot of questions where they’re trying to find out if it’s true, what’s going on, and who are they after."

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

A Kansas House committee has advanced a spending bill that would balance the budget for the current fiscal year without making cuts to education. The House Appropriations Committee voted for a proposal similar to Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan, which would dissolve a state investment fund to close a more than $300 million budget gap.

Republican committee chairman Troy Waymaster calls it “the best of the bad options.” He says the alternative is cutting state services and education, which would be hard to absorb.

The Wichita Police Department and the Sedgwick County Sheriff's office plan to work together to investigate charges of officer-involved criminal conduct. Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay says the agencies will investigate each other when members of either department are accused of a crime. So, if a Wichita police officer allegedly commits a crime, the sheriff's office will conduct the investigation and vice versa.

In the past, a criminal complaint would have been assigned to each agency's own investigation department.

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