The National Endowment for the Arts has made a preliminary decision saying Kansas is once again eligible to receive federal matching funds for arts programs. That decision was revealed during a meeting of the state's arts agency Friday.
When Governor Sam Brownback vetoed state arts funding in 2011, Kansas lost federal matching dollars. With some arts funding restored, the NEA says Kansas could be eligible for up to $560,000 in matching funds this fiscal year.
Peter Jasso, director of the Creative Arts Industries Commission, called the decision great news.
State regulators took public comments last night on a proposed Westar Energy rate increase.
Westar is asking to raise rates by 2 percent and to shift more electricity costs from large customers to residential users and small businesses. The company said the cost shift is necessary because larger business customers are paying more than their fair share.
About 80 people showed up in Topeka for the hearing, and many of them lined up to blast the proposal.
The state of Kansas will need to do less internal borrowing next fiscal year to pay the state's bills. Tuesday, a group made up of legislators and the governor approved $300 million in transfers for the new fiscal year, which starts July 1.
Every year tax collections go up and down month to month, meaning the state has to temporarily move money from various programs into the general fund to pay the bills. Those transfers have been going down in recent years. Gov. Sam Brownback says that’s good.
A task force appointed by the governor has wrapped up a series of meetings looking for ways to reduce childhood poverty in Kansas. They discussed three so-called "pathways out of poverty," which include ways to improve education, get more Kansans working and strengthen families.
The committee was told that in 2011 around 19 percent of Kansas kids lived in poverty, and they’re hoping that focusing on some key areas can reduce that.