Government

Government
7:00 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Brownback Not Ruling Out Sales Tax Extension

The Kansas Statehouse.
Jimmy Emerson Flickr

Governor Sam Brownback says extending a temporary sales tax increase to help balance the state budget is a possibility.

In 2010, lawmakers passed a 1 percent sales tax to help the state get through the recession, but it was set to expire after three years. Brownback wants to see how the budget shapes up before making any decision.

The current 1 percent sales tax increase is mostly set to expire during the middle of next year. Also next year, a big income tax cut takes effect, which could mean a reduction in state revenue.

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Government
7:58 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Commission Makes Progress On Wichita City Council Redistricting

Wichita City Council members heard a presentation on redistricting Tuesday during their scheduled workshop. The plan will revise the council district boundaries in the city.

Since August, the Commission of Electors made up of representatives from all six districts in Wichita and an appointee by Mayor Carl Brewer have worked on redistricting with information from the 2010 census.

The revised map includes a population of 60,000 to 67,000 people per district. Commission member Misty Bruckner told the council that the group looked at various growth patterns.

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Government
5:45 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Transcripts Show KS Lawmakers Didn’t Know Law

The Kansas State capitol.
Jimmy Emerson Flickr

Transcripts of interviews with a prosecutor’s office show that Kansas legislators didn’t know the state’s Open Meetings Act when they were questioned about private dinners with Governor Sam Brownback at his official residence.

The transcripts show that hardly any of the legislators had read the law.  Most reported receiving no formal training on how to avoid violating it.

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Sedgwick County
6:46 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Citizens Gather To Oppose Cuts To Senior Centers, Zoo

The entrance to the Sedgwick County Zoo.
Travel KS Flickr

Sedgwick county residents Thursday had a second chance to publicly voice concerns about the recommended 2013 budget.

About 50 people gathered in the commission chambers at the county court house to listen and express concerns about proposed cuts outlined in the county manager’s 2013 recommended budget.

The budget includes broad cuts to eliminate the $9.3 million deficit, including funding reductions to the County Extension Center and 4-H programs, Judge Riddel Boy’s Ranch, senior centers and the Sedgwick County Zoo.

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Wichita City Council
8:42 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Hyatt Revenue Factored Into Wichita City Budget

The City of Wichita anticipates a quarter million dollars in projected hotel cash flow from the city-owned downtown Hyatt as part of the proposed 2013-14 budget.

Wichita City Manager Bob Layton gave an overview of the proposed budget as part of a formal public hearing during Tuesday’s city council meeting.  Layton told council members one issue that helped shape the budget has to do with the Hyatt.

“This budget anticipates for the first time, a revenue flow to the city from the Hyatt operations,” said Layton.

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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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