Government

Government
5:53 am
Tue January 8, 2013

KS Legislators Warn About Drop in State Revenue

Democrats in the Kansas House say legislators have been warned that Governor Sam Brownback's tax cuts are likely to mean there's less cash to go around. 

"Legislative services who are the people we rely on, have always relied on for years, told you there would be a problem, tax experts in the state told you we would have a deficit before the session even started, that makes sense," says Democratic Representative Barbara Ballard of Lawrence.

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Government
6:30 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Brownback Fills Vacancy On Medical Board

Gov. Sam Brownback has named Dr. Joel Hutchins of Holton, Kan., to the State Board of Healing Arts.

The northeast Kansas physician will serve a four-year term on the 15-member board, which licenses and regulates physicians.

Hutchins will replace Dr. Nancy Welsh of Topeka. Welsh was appointed by Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. She stepped down in November, after serving on the board since 2004.

Hutchins is a former Air Force pilot who has practiced medicine for more than 20 years. He earned his medical degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine.

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Wichita City Council
5:50 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Vacated Wichita City Council Seat To Be Filled This Week

Four candidates from District IV will be considered this week for the interim Wichita City Council seat.

Michael O'Donnell vacated his seat on the city council when he was elected to serve in the Kansas State Senate this fall.

Candidates Joshua Blick, Jeff Blubaugh, Paul Gray and Stan Reeser were all nominated by the District IV Advisory Board. Three of the candidates were interviewed last week by the board at a public forum in south Wichita.

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Wichita City Council
5:45 am
Mon December 24, 2012

Board To Interview For Vacant City Council Seat

The District IV Advisory Board will conduct interviews for the interim Wichita City Council seat during a special meeting next week.

Two of the candidates are former city council members and one lost to the outgoing incumbent. The District IV seat in southwest Wichita will open on January 1 after council member Michael O'Donnell resigns on December 31. O'Donnell was elected to the Kansas State Senate in November.

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Government
5:10 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Wichita City Council Votes To Move Downtown Apartment Project Forward

Artist renderings of the proposed Exchange Place project.
Foulston Siefkin LLP

The Wichita City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to amend an agreement for a major apartment structure to be built in downtown Wichita. The change allows the Exchange Place Project to move forward.

Changes include a new developer for the Exchange Place project - John McWilliams, President of Talos Holdings out of Park City, Utah, will replace Minnesota developers.

McWilliams has a proven record with financed projects through HUD, US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Government
12:20 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Legislators To Propose KanCare Oversight Panel

Kansas legislators will introduce measures during the 2013 session to create oversight of the state's new KanCare Medicaid system.

House Rep. David Crum and Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook announced their plans Monday during a Statehouse news conference. KanCare is the new federally approved system for Medicaid in Kansas, providing health care services to low-income and disabled residents.

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Government
5:54 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Brownback Seeks To Merge JJA With Corrections

The Kansas Statehouse in Topeka.
Credit Jimmy Emerson / Flickr

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.

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Wichita City Council
5:58 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Wichita City Council Moves To Fill O'Donnell's Seat

City Council member Michael O'Donnell will vacate his seat Dec. 31.
Credit Michael O'Donell

The Wichita City Council is working through the process to temporarily fill the District 4 council seat soon to be vacated by Michael O'Donnell.

The council declared a notice of vacancy Tuesday due to O'Donnell's resignation, effective December 31. O'Donnell was elected state senator of District 25 in Wichita last month.

The City of Wichita's director of law, Gary Rebenstorf, outlined the procedure for filling the vacancy.

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Government
11:59 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Democrats Target Kobach's Outside Work With New Bill

Kansas Democrats want to put limits on the Secretary of State.

Democratic leaders say they will introduce two measures in January in an effort to limit Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's power, and his work outside the office on immigration and other issues.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley said Tuesday that he would submit a bill to limit the ability of statewide elected officials and their employees to work more than 10 hours a week outside their official duties and still receive compensation.

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Government
12:42 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Wagle Wins KS Senate President, Merrick Speaker

Kansas Republicans elected Susan Wagle Monday as the new president of the state Senate.

A veteran Wichita Republican, she is the first woman to lead either legislative chamber. Wagle defeated Steve Abrams of Arkansas City.

Johnson County Republican Ray Merrick is the new speaker of the Kansas House. Merrick won on a second ballot Monday over fellow Johnson County representative Arlen Siegfried.

When the session begins in January, Republicans will outnumber Democrats 32-8 in the Senate and 92-33 in the House.

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