Gov. Brownback

Bryan Thompson

Kansas politicians have always been able to score points at the coffee shop by taking jabs at the federal government. But in today's divided America, politicians in red states like Kansas are finding that sometimes the best way to connect with voters is to advocate outright defiance of federal authority.

For more on this issue, visit our public television partners at KCPT.

The FBI is examining whether Governor Sam Brownback’s former chief of staff and a lobbying and consulting firm he helped found are trading on their ties to the governor to benefit themselves and others financially.

A person familiar with the inquiry told The Associated Press the FBI has been looking for several months into the activities of Brownback's confidante David Kensinger and his Topeka firm, Parallel Strategies. Kensinger and two former Brownback staffers formed last year.

Governor Sam Brownback will be visiting universities in Kansas on Monday.

Eileen Hawley, a Brownback spokesperson, says he’ll be meeting with university officials and talking about the importance of higher education in the state.

"The universities help drive the economy," Hawley says. "They provide a highly skilled work force and they create the next generations of teachers, doctors and business people so its really important for us to invest and have a good vision for higher education in Kansas. " 

Governor Sam Brownback has signed 5 new bills into law this week.

House Bill 2210 - Prohibits residents from changing their party affiliation in an election year, from the date of the deadline for candidates to file for office in June through the certification of the results of the August Primary Election.

Governor Sam Brownback has appointed a former Wichita bank executive to serve as the acting bank commissioner in Kansas.

Deryl Schuster succeeds Judi Stork, who will return to her duties as deputy commissioner.

Schuster served most recently as president and CEO of Midwest Community Bank.

The commissioner works with the state Banking Board to regulate state-chartered banks and trust companies, savings and loan companies, mortgage businesses and other financial institutions.

Governor Sam Brownback is visiting Kansas elementary schools on Tuesday to build more support for his proposal to fund all-day Kindergarten across Kansas.

Governor Brownback has asked legislators to increase state support by $16 million dollars a year over five years, until the program is fully funded.

The governor is scheduled to visit a classroom in Silver Lake today; he visited a school in Topeka on Monday.

www.jocojnc.org/ / Tenth Judicial District Judicial Nominating Commission

Gov, Sam Brownback appointed Terry Presta as the Executive Director of the Kansas Lottery Wednesday. 

Presda was the president of Overland Park-based Presto Convenience Stores until December of 2010. Gov. Brownback says Presda brings more than 30 years of experience as a business owner and operator to his new role with the Kansas Lottery. 

Brownback added that Presda will bring more energy to the lottery "as we focus on growing sales and increasing transfers to the state." 

Governor Sam Brownback has proposed a new initiative to help school children read.

He wants to use $9 million in each of the next two years from federal assistance funds for low-income families.

Most of the money would come from the Department for Children and Families, which would tap funds from federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program.

The program typically provides cash assistance to families in poverty.

A number of high-poverty urban and rural school districts would be targeted through after-school reading programs.

Governor Sam Brownback, school officials and other community organizations will announce a plan on Thursday to improve reading proficiency among grade-school students.

The governor will share more details at a Boys and Girls Club center in Topeka.

School officials from Chetopa, Galena, and Pittsburg as well as representatives of the University of Kansas and the Kansas Enrichment Network will join him.

This year, Governor Brownback proposed legislation to hold back students who were not proficient in reading.

Governor Sam Brownback says he's open to discussions with Missouri on ending the use of incentives to lure businesses across the border in the Kansas City area.

On Tuesday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon called for an end to using such incentives when companies simply move from one state to the other.

In a statement, Governor Brownback says he has engaged in active discussion with Nixon about the issue for more than a year.

He says talks also have included Missouri legislators.

However, a moratorium may be a hard sell to some Kansas lawmakers.

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