Gov. Brownback

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Gov. Sam Brownback's spokeswoman is stepping down within days, ahead of his anticipated departure.

The governor announced Melika Willoughby's resignation today as communications director, effective Friday. She'll become vice president of communications and strategic development for Forge Leadership Network, which identifies and mentors young conservatives.

Willoughby joined Brownback's office in 2014 as deputy communications chief. She's been part of his senior staff since November.

Gage Skidmore, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s long-rumored move to a position in President Donald Trump’s administration is no longer rumor.

Kansas News Service/File photo

The head of an organization that represents Kansas state employees is criticizing Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration for using a state agency to deliver a political attack on the Legislature.

ANNIE E. CASEY FOUNDATION

Kansas scores 15th among the 50 states for overall child well-being, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2017 “Kids Count” report.

The state’s relatively high overall ranking is driven by its No. 7 ranking for kids’ economic well-being, based on indicators like housing affordability and employment security for parents.

But the state fares less well in three other categories: health, in which the foundation ranks it 20th; education, 26th; and family and community, 23rd.

File Photo / KCUR

Gov. Sam Brownback’s approval rating among Kansans continues to flounder and ranks lower than that of President Donald Trump, according to the spring Kansas Speaks survey released Tuesday.

The survey, published twice a year by the Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State University, found that Brownback has an approval rating of 21 percent, while 56 percent said they are “very dissatisfied” with him. The very dissatisfied number is down from the 62 percent the governor received a year ago.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Gov. Sam Brownback kicked off the Kansas legislative session by drawing lines in the sand on taxes, spending and Medicaid expansion, and he has defended those positions with his veto pen.

The question when lawmakers return Monday to Topeka is whether those vetoes will hold up.

Kansas News Service

Kansas legislators hit adjournment Friday with some big tasks left for their wrap-up session that starts May 1.

At the top of the list is a tax and budget plan, which largely will be influenced by the amount of school funding that legislators decide to add in light of the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling last month. In the health policy arena, Medicaid expansion supporters are regrouping after the governor’s veto — and holding out hope for another shot this session.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is staying tight-lipped about whether he might take a job as an ambassador in Italy. The job, which would be based in Rome, is an ambassadorship to U.N. food and humanitarian groups.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

At a time when Kansas is facing a serious budget deficit and a court order saying school funding is inadequate, Gov. Sam Brownback may be preparing to leave the state for a job in Italy. A former high-ranking government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, tells Kansas Public Radio that Brownback will be named the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations agencies for food and agriculture in Rome.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas lawmakers are getting back to work on taxes quickly after taking a break. Leaders in the state Senate are planning to take up Gov. Sam Brownback's tax proposal Tuesday.

Brownback has proposed hiking Kansas tobacco and alcohol taxes and increasing business filing fees to help balance the state budget. Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning says they’ll debate the governor’s bill, even though they might not like the plan.

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