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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.