The Kansas Senate Assessment and Taxation committee endorsed most of Gov. Sam Brownback's tax plan Tuesday. The committee spent fewer than 10 minutes discussing the governor's proposals before approving the bill. The legislation could move to the full senate for debate next week.
Gov. Brownback wants to phase out personal income taxes in Kansas over the next four years. The committee kept the governor's call to balance the tax cuts by making a temporary sales tax hike permanent. However, they cut his proposal to eliminate an income tax deduction for property taxes on homes.
Gov. Sam Brownback has proclaimed Wednesday "Armed Forces Appreciation Day" in Kansas.
The governor says it's "a chance to show our deep gratitude for their service and sacrifice--and the sacrifice made by their families. Today we pledge our support for them in peace, in crisis, and in war."
Gov. Sam Brownback and others in his administration are challenging a recent national report that ranked Kansas low for public health preparedness.
The critical report was issued by the non-profit Trust for America's Health. In it, Kansas and Montana tied for last place in rankings of public health preparedness. That means the state isn't as prepared as others to respond to public health threats, such as infectious diseases, food-borne illnesses, bio-terrorism, even extreme weather events.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback wants to merge the state's Juvenile Justice Authority with the Department of Corrections. The governor says he’ll propose an executive reorganization order in the coming legislative session to merge the two agencies.
Brownback says a Legislative Post Audit report this summer showed that the social services approach of previous administration failed to provide safety and security. He says the merger will improve safety, and that programs proven to get youth back on the right path will continue.
Governor Brownback has some perspective on the issue of the Fiscal Cliff, having served in both the U.S. House and Senate.
He says going over the cliff could have a significant impact on Kansas. One example would be cuts to defense spending, which could affect military facilities in the state. But right now, he’s optimistic.
"The idea that we'd actually go over the fiscal cliff does not seem to me like one that's likely to happen," says Brownback.
He also says what lawmakers may do is delay at least some of the tax increases and spending cuts.
A task force appointed to look for ways to reduce child poverty will meet for the first time Monday in Topeka. Governor Sam Brownback created the task force to look for ways the state can help reduce the number of Kansas kids living in poverty.