Government

Government
1:19 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Gov. Brownback Wants To Use Highway Dollars For School Busing

Gov. Sam  Brownback would like to use some the state's highway dollars to help cover the cost of bussing children to and from public schools.

Brownback proposed Wednesday that the state divert $193 million normally set aside for highway projects to school transportation programs during the next two fiscal years. The diversion would be almost $97 million each year.

2013 Legislative Session
6:15 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Senate Passes So-Called 'Pay-Go' Budget Rule

The new rule will block some budget amendments introduced on the Senate floor.
Credit Stephen Koranda

  The Kansas Senate has passed a new rule that will make it harder to increase spending in budget bills.

The rule is known as "pay as you go," or "pay-go." It requires any budget amendment added on the Senate floor to be offset with an equal cut in spending. That means once a bill leaves committee, the overall amount of spending can't be increased.

Opponents of the change say it stifles senators, because they can't add spending to the budget for things their constituents would want.

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Government
12:36 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Gov. Brownback Outlines New Education Budget Proposals

Gov. Sam Brownback's new budget proposals would phase in a $76 million increase in aid to public schools over two years.  He would would also use $77 million in revenue from state-owned casinos to help fund teacher pensions. 

City Government
6:19 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Wichita City Council Approves Bonds For Sports Complex

A rendering of the GoodSports Fieldhouse at night.
Courtesy illustration City of Wichita

The Wichita City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve phase one of the STAR Bond project plan that will help establish a multi-sport athletic complex in northeast Wichita.

The 430 acre complex site near K-96 and Greenwich road will serve as an attraction for regional and national youth sports competition. The site plan includes hotels, retailers and an aquatic attraction with a goal of increasing tourism for Wichita and the region.

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Government
6:04 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Gov Proposes More Tax Cuts In 2013 State Of The State

Gov. Sam Brownback during the 2013 State of the State address.
Credit Associated Press

Gov. Sam Brownback has laid out his priorities for the legislative session. During a speech Tuesday night, Brownback made proposals dealing with taxes, the budget and more.

Brownback has proposed keeping a temporary sales tax increase on the books. Most of the 1 percent sales tax increase was set to expire later this year, but it would stay under Brownback’s plan.

Last year, lawmakers passed a cut to personal and business income taxes, and now Brownback is pushing for a further reduction in personal income tax rates, and eventually, eliminating them altogether.

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City Government
1:34 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Paul Gray Sworn In As Interim District IV City Council Member

Municipal court judge Jennifer Jones swears in Paul Gray as the interim city council member for District IV.
Credit Carla Eckels / KMUW

The Wichita City Council chose former council member Paul Gray to fill the interim District IV seat, which represents southwest Wichita.

The vote was 4-2, with Mayor Carl Brewer and Vice Mayor Janet Miller voting for former council member Stan Reeser.

Gray previously served two terms with the council and left due to term limits.

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State Government
6:05 am
Mon January 14, 2013

2013 Legislative Session To Commence

Monday marks the start of the 2013 legislative session. This could be one of the most significant sessions in years.

Conservative Republicans control the House, Senate, and Governor's office. In recent years. moderate Republicans and Democrats have been able to block some legislation pushed by conservatives. But that is unlikely to happen in this session.

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Wichita City Council
5:49 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Vote To Fill Vacant City Council Seat Delayed

Joshua Blick withdrew his name from consideration for the interim District IV seat while addressing the Council Tuesday.
Credit Carla Eckels

The Wichita City Council voted Tuesday to postpone a vote for the interim District IV seat vacated by Kansas senator-elect Michael O'Donnell. 

The council plans to fill the position next week.

Council members spoke with candidates Joshua Blick, Jeff Blubaugh, Paul Gray and Stan Reeser Monday during one-on-one interviews.

During Tuesday's meeting, each of the candidates addressed the council. Blick said southwest Wichita will suffer if a selection isn't made soon.

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Wichita City Council
4:39 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Wichita City Manager Gets First Pay Raise

The Wichita City Council today unanimously approved an 8 percent raise for City Manager Bob Layton.

The council had not given Layton a pay raise since he was hired in 2008, due to overall economic budget restraints.

All of the council members thanked Layton for his efforts including Jeff Longwell who says he appreciates the hard work that Layton has done on behalf of the citizens in the city.

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Government
10:50 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Incoming KS Senate Majority Leader Selects Staff

Incoming Kansas Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce has filled out his staff with a former congressional intern and an aide to the state House speaker.

Bruce chose Kara Evans to be his legislative director. Evans recently graduated with a bachelor of arts in political science and government from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa. Evans has worked as an intern for Republican U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas and James Inhofe of Oklahoma.

Bruce has also hired Katrina Abraham as his executive assistant. Abraham held the same position for outgoing House Speaker Mike O'Neal.

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