Government

Government
5:30 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Follow-Up Meeting Held In Wichita Over Police And Community Relations

Ida Allen, whose brother was shot and killed by a Wichita police officer in July, addresses city officials at a forum on Wednesday night. From left, Interim Police Chief Nelson Mosley, Mayor Carl Brewer and City Manager Bob Layton. Also onstage were Pastor Junius Dotson of Saint Mark United Methodist Church and Pastor Kevass Harding of Dellrose United Methodist Church
Credit Sean Sandefur

 

The City of Wichita held a second meeting on police and community relations on Wednesday night. The meeting was held at the Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center. 

The turnout was smaller and the tone less agitated than the first meeting held back in August.

City officials described Wednesday night as a progress report. 

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Government
1:59 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Gov. Brownback's Budget Plan Draws Ire From State Senate Leaders

Governor Brownback's plan drew immediate, bipartisan criticism from state Senate leaders.

In his successful re-election campaign, Brownback pointed repeatedly to the pension fixes - which promised full funding of its obligations in 2033 - as a major accomplishment.

"It reneges on the commitment that was made,"Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley says.

Senate President Susan Wagle of Wichita said the governor is picking winners and losers by being selective in cutting.

Wagle says she prefers to see the burden of closing the budget shortfall spread evenly.

Government
1:50 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Brownback Administration Releases Kansas Budget Plan

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s administration has released a plan to fix a budget deficit in the current fiscal year. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, cuts to highway funding and the state’s public retirement system will be key to balancing the Kansas budget.

Brownback’s budget director, Shawn Sullivan, says the administration started by trying to find ways to reduce spending while minimizing the effect the cost-cutting would have on services.

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Government
4:41 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Wichita City Council Approves Water And Sewer Rate Increases For 2015

Credit City of Wichita

The Wichita City Council have approved water and sewer rate increases for 2015. As KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports, the decision will hit industrial users the hardest.

In a 4-2 vote, rate increases proposed by Wichita Public Works and Utilities were finalized.

Residential users can expect a combined 4 to 6 percent increase, depending on use, which translates to about $2—$5 a month.

The largest industrial users, such as Spirit Aerosystems, can expect increases of about 6.3 percent, or just over $3,000 a month.

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Government
1:58 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Kansas Joins 17-State Coalition Lawsuit Against Obama's Immigration Policy

Kansas is part of a 17-state coalition suing over President Barack Obama's recently announced executive actions on immigration.

The states argue in the lawsuit that the move "tramples" key portions of the U.S. Constitution.

Many Republicans are criticizing President Obama's move, which was designed to spare as many as 5 million people living illegally in the United States from deportation.

But Texas Governor-elect Greg Abbott took it a step further. He filed a formal legal challenge in federal court in the Southern District of Texas.

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Government
4:41 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Wichita Police Department Announces Plan To Finance Body Cameras

Interim Police Chief Nelson Mosley, left, is joined by City Manager Bob Layton to announce the city's plan to finance body cameras for every officer
Credit Sean Sandefur

A proposal for how the City of Wichita will finance body cameras for its police department has been announced. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports…

City officials have announced a proposal for the purchase of body cameras for each officer of the Wichita Police Department.

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Government
1:55 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

New Kansas Legislators Prepare For First Session

New members of the Kansas House of Representatives have been taking orientation classes this week preparing for their first legislative session. They're learning about their legislative email accounts and getting their official photos, but as Stephen Koranda reports, looming budget issues are already on their minds.

Kansas lawmakers will have to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming years to balance the budget.

Republican Linda Gallagher, from Lenexa, believes they need to look at raising revenue. She says lawmakers have already made the easiest budget cuts.

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Government
5:18 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Wichita City Council Considers Water And Sewer Rate Increases For 2015

Credit City of Wichita

 

Wichita city council members reviewed a proposal on Tuesday afternoon for water and sewer rate increases for 2015.

Alan King, director of Wichita Public Works and Utilities, says the city maintains over 4,000 miles of water and sewer lines. To keep up with that infrastructure, King’s department has proposed a 6 percent increase for water and 5 percent increase for sewer.  

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Government
12:54 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Merrick Re-Elected As Kansas House Speaker

House Speaker Ray Merrick
Credit Stephen Koranda

Kansas House Republicans have re-elected Ray Merrick to a second, two-year term as speaker. Fellow conservative Virgil Peck had challenged Merrick, but Merrick easily won in an 80-16 vote.

"I would like to think that most of them have seen me for two years and know what I've done and what we got accomplished and I think it validates that," says Merrick.

Merrick says one of his priorities this session will be finding ways to fill a budget hole. He says he'll focus on spending cuts, rather than raising revenues.

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Government
12:58 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Four Kansas Insurance Dept. Directors Set To Retire In December

Four directors are retiring from the Kansas Insurance Department on December 5th.

Directors Marlyn Burch, life division; Neil Woerman, information technology; Steve O'Neil, consumer assistance; and Ted Clark, anti-fraud, will retire. The department has 11 directors.

Burch has worked for the department for 53 years.

O'Neil joined the department in 1987, while Woerman and Clark joined the department in 2003.

The department will wait to fill the positions until Ken Selzer becomes commissioner in January.

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