Government

Government
5:57 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Budget Projections May Be Recalculated After Unexpected Tax Revenues

The state Revenue Department says Kansas collected $2.6 million more in taxes than expected in November.

The agency said Friday that the state collected about $441 million in taxes this month, when a fiscal forecast predicted it would take in less than $439 million.

The difference is less than 1 percent, but Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan said the numbers contain solid signs that the state's economy is improving. The report was the first since officials issued a new fiscal forecast earlier this month.

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Government
12:34 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Lawmakers Asked For Money To Keep Boys Home Open

Sedgwick County officials say they will close a ranch for troubled boys if the state does not provide more financial help.

County officials told lawmakers Thursday that the county can't afford to keep the Judge James V. Riddel Boys Ranch at Lake Afton open past next year. The home offers rehabilitation programs for boys considered at high or moderate risk of reoffending.

The state pays $126 a day for each boy at the ranch. County officials say the actual cost is $201 per boy.

Government
5:49 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Brownback Believes U.S. Will Avoid Fiscal Cliff

Gov. Brownback at a media event earlier this year.
Credit Stephen Koranda

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.

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Government
5:37 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Childhood Poverty Task Force to Meet

Phyllis Gilmore during an appearance on the KTWU program I've Got Issues.
Credit KTWU

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. 

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Government
5:53 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Brownback Says Wind Tax Credit Should Be Phased Out, But Not Now

Governor Sam Brownback is continuing his push for an extension of a wind energy tax credit. It helps make wind power cheaper, and it's set to expire at the end of the year.

The credit has driven the development of wind power. Brownback says the credit has a big impact on wind energy jobs in Kansas. He would like to see it phased out more slowly over the next three or four years.

"I don't disagree with those that believe this should be phased out. I think it should be, but I think just to go all of a sudden drop from 30 percent to zero in one year," says Brownback.

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Government
1:52 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Brownback Wants Tax Credits For Wind To Continue

Credit davedig / flickr

Gov. Sam Brownback urged the extension of the wind Production Tax Credit at a news conference Tuesday in Washington, D.C., held by the Governors' Wind Energy Coalition.

Brownback is part of the bipartisan group of governors that is working to get the tax credit extended during the lame duck session of congress that began Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters and legislators by phone, Brownback said there was almost 1400 megawatts of wind energy produced in Kansas in 2012, but the uncertainty around the credit was causing the industry to slow.

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Government
5:43 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Budget Cuts To Juvenile Services Could Mean Fewer Offender Services

Gov. Sam Brownback's administration has asked state agencies to prepare contingency plans for 10 percent budget cuts. The head of the Juvenile Justice Authority told a legislative committee what that could mean for the juvenile corrections system in Kansas.

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Election 2012
11:58 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Lawsuit Filed Over Provisional Ballots

A Kansas House Democrat has filed a lawsuit hoping to force Shawnee County officials to turn over a list of voters who cast provisional ballots.

Rep. Ann Mah of Topeka is trying to avert a narrow election loss.

Democratic Party officials gave The Associated Press a copy of Mah's petition before it was filed in Shawnee County District Court Friday.

Mah trails Republican challenger Ken Corbet of Topeka by 27 votes out of almost 11,000 cast. She says she wants to ensure that all provisional votes are counted and that maybe 150 votes are in play.

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Government
5:57 am
Fri November 9, 2012

KanCare Launch Date Nears, Lawmakers Consider Oversight

A legislative committee is recommending that lawmakers have greater oversight of a plan to overhaul Medicaid.

KanCare, as the new program will be called, would put most Medicaid recipients into managed care programs run by private companies. The change is slated to take effect January 1.

The Joint Committee on Home and Community Based Services heard from advocates saying lawmakers should keep a close eye on KanCare. The goal of the overhaul is to help control costs in Medicaid without hurting patient care.

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Government
2:52 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

KanCare Start Date Looms, State Lacks Federal Approval

A major overhaul of the Kansas Medicaid program is scheduled to take place in a little more than seven weeks, but the state's plans still haven't received a green light from the federal government.

Many of the changes that would be enacted require approval from federal officials.

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