Government

Sedgwick County
5:55 am
Thu July 26, 2012

County Commissioners Hear Concerns About 2013 Budget

Sedgwick county residents Wednesday voiced concerns to the county commissioners about recommended cuts in the proposed 2013 budget.

The public hearing on the budget was the first of three feedback sessions scheduled before the commissioners are expected to adopt a budget on August 15.

County residents expressed concern over cuts to senior centers, Exploration Place, and the County Extention Center, and the closure of Judge Riddle Boys Ranch.

Under the recommended budget senior centers would be cut $66,300.

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Government
3:56 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Brownback Touts State’s Fiscal Health

Governor Sam Brownback touted the state’s fiscal health Wednesday during a press briefing at the Statehouse. Brownback announced that Kansas will pay off bonds early for a variety of projects. He says the state’s finances are now solid enough to handle a large income tax cut lawmakers approved last session.

“We will be in a solid fiscal position, and we’re going to do everything we can here to continue to reduce the cost of state government while protecting K-12, Medicaid, public safety,” Brownback said.

Child Care Regulations
1:52 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Kansas Officials Say New Law Improves Child Care

State officials say a law passed two years ago has dramatically improved child care in Kansas.

The 2010 law is known as Lexie’s Law, after a 13-month-old girl who died from injuries she suffered at a Johnson County day care in 2004.

Among other things, it requires training for day care providers. It also requires day cares that take in up to six children to be regularly inspected. In the past, those small day cares were inspected only in response to complaints.

Sedgwick County
6:41 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Wichita City Council Member Makes Case For Passenger Rail

An Amtrak Surfliner passenger rail train.
Mark Beeson Flickr

Wichita city council member Pete Mitzner Wednesday presented a case for passenger rail service through the city to the Sedgwick county commissioners.

City council member Mitzner told the county commission passenger rail service is expanding across the nation and he and fellow council member James Clendenin believe Wichita could be a part of that expansion, especially considering there is existing unused rail infastructure downtown.

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Sedgwick County
6:23 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Proposed Sedgwick County Budget Includes Broad Cuts, Layoffs

The Sedgwick County Courthouse.
Jim Good Flickr

The Sedgwick County Manager Wednesday presented his 2013 recommended budget to the commissioners. It proposes layoffs, cuts to services and closing the Judge Riddel Boys Ranch.

County Manager Bill Buchanan said he had to do “less with less” to reach the goal of eliminating the county’s $9.3 million deficit by the end of 2013.

Buchanan said in their analysis the budget team focused on the core missions of programs and looked for duplications of services.

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Sedgwick County
5:00 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Proposed Sedgwick County Budget Includes Cuts, Layoffs

The Sedgwick County manager will present his recommended budget for 2013 to the county commissioners Wednesday. It will include cuts to jobs and services.

In a meeting with reporters Monday morning sedgwick county manager Bill Buchanan said the county will have to do less with less to eliminate the $9.3 million deficit.

Buchanan said his proposed budget will bring the deficit to zero by the end of 2013. Details of the budget and cuts will be outlined when he presents the budget to the county commissioners Wednesday.

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National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility
6:10 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Fed Panel Supports KS Biosecurity Lab Project

The Seal of the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Department of Homeland Security dhs.gov

A government-backed research panel says the Department of Homeland Security should continue with its plans for a bio-security lab in Kansas but consider ways to reduce costs.

A study released by the National Research Council Friday says the need for the $1.14 billion National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan hasn’t diminished since the project was first conceived.

But the council says Homeland Security has options: It could continue with the current plan, reduce the size and scope of the project and distribute its work among research centers around the country.

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Department Of Motor Vehicles
8:20 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Audit Will Focus On Problems With Vehicle Registration System Upgrade

A Kansas legislative committee has ordered an audit of the state’s troubled vehicle registration system. 

A new, upgraded system was put in place earlier this year. But problems have caused long lines at some local DMV offices.

Wichita City Council
6:00 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Wichita To Eliminate Jobs, Increase Fees To Balance Budget

City of Wichita Budget Manager, Mark Manning, explains updated proposed budget.
Carla Eckels

An update of the proposed 2013-2014 budget was presented to Wichita City council members Tuesday.  The plan includes eliminating 37 positions to help balance the budget.

The 37 jobs slated to be cut include 19 vacant positions in the Office of Central Inspection, and 10 in engineering.  Also, eight police positions will be eliminated including seven grant-funded police officers plus another police position, a civilian working in parking enforcement.

City Manager Robert Layton says the plan is to move these workers into other positions.

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Taxes
3:45 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Kansas Prepares For New Tax Rules

Preparations are underway for tax changes next year. Kansas Department of Revenue staff is working this summer to write the new rules and regulations that will guide the agency as it implements a sweeping series of cuts to the state’s income tax system.

Secretary Nick Jordan says the agency is meeting with accountants and lawyers to discuss the new law and write the policies that will govern how taxes are collected for individuals and businesses.

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