News

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

The Midwest Regional Public Finance Conference was held in Wichita today. Experts on the role of the government in the economy discussed the latest research, regulations and trends.

Kelly Edmiston, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, says the economy in the Kansas region is growing more slowly than the rest of U.S. He says the setbacks are the result of a decline in the energy and agricultural sectors.

Senator Jeff King speaking to the Senate Tax Committee.
Stephen Koranda

State lawmakers are considering how to erase a budget shortfall, and on Thursday a Kansas Senate committee took a look at business taxes.

Lawmakers held a hearing on a bill that would partially roll back a tax exemption for business income. Jim Eschrich is a business owner who says the tax changes overall have been good, but he says it’s unfair for some business owners not to pay income taxes.

wikipedia.org

The nomination of President Barack Obama's choice to serve as Army secretary remains blocked by a Kansas senator over administration efforts to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and transfer detainees to the U.S.

Eric Fanning, who has held several jobs in the Pentagon, would be the first openly gay leader of a U.S. military service if confirmed. But Republican Sen. Pat Roberts placed a hold on the nomination last year and refused to relent on Thursday despite pleas from the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Fox News

Christian evangelist Franklin Graham spoke to a crowd of thousands at the Kansas Statehouse on Thursday, urging them to vote and even run for office. The stop was part of a 50-state tour. 

Among other things, Graham weighed in on so-called bathroom bills that would require transgender people to use the restroom of their sex at birth.

“Young girls and children and women don’t have to have some man pretending to be a woman in their restroom. That’s why it’s important to run. We need the Christian voice,” Graham says.

Stephen Koranda

Kansas lawmakers are back in the Statehouse for the veto session, where they’re considering how to deal with a budget deficit. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, how they try to tackle the issue could determine how long they’re in Topeka.

Republican Rep. Barbara Bollier suspects it could be a brief veto session.

“I expect short and I expect very little to happen,” Bollier says.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

The antibiotics that keep us healthy are becoming less effective. Scientists say giving the drugs to farm animals is part of the problem.

That’s why researchers are looking into new ways to keep livestock healthy and profitable--especially the animals that become our steak and pork chops. As Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer reports, they’re turning to something you can probably find in your fridge.

Stephen Koranda

Advocacy groups gathered at the Kansas Statehouse today and asked lawmakers to reverse tax cuts passed in recent years.

The organizations include unions, the Kansas Contractors Association and a group that advocates for children. Annie McKay, with the Kansas Center for Economic Growth, is a frequent critic of the governor’s tax policies. She says the state can’t cut its way out of the budget shortfall.

Dave Schumaker, flickr Creative Commons

A magnitude 4.1 earthquake was measured in Oklahoma on Wednesday.

The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded at 4.1 magnitude earthquake near Luther.

The quake struck at 10:44 a.m. Wednesday about seven miles northeast of Luther, about 30 miles north of Oklahoma City.

No injuries or damage are reported, but the USGS website shows the temblor was felt in Wichita, Kansas, about 135 miles north of Luther.

The USGS also recorded a 2.8 magnitude quake at 6:31 a.m. near Harrah, about 25 miles northeast of Oklahoma City.

wichita.va.gov

A government review shows a Veterans Affairs regional office in Kansas listed erroneous medical conditions for three dozen patients who filed appeals after having their claims rejected.

In a report released Tuesday, the VA's inspector general's office says management instructed staff at the Wichita facility to enter the same "placeholder" diagnostic code for a specific bone infection on 36 appeal claims. None of the patients had the listed condition.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

A panel of Kansas lawmakers has voted not to audit a state agency to see if there’s discrimination against same-sex couples. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, an audit would have looked for discrimination when it comes to foster care and adoption.

In a letter to the committee, the head of the Kansas Department for Children and Families said the agency doesn’t discriminate against same-sex couples. That was enough for Republican Sen. Jeff Longbine to suggest they hold off on an audit.

Pages