Government

Government
1:50 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Brownback Administration Releases Kansas Budget Plan

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s administration has released a plan to fix a budget deficit in the current fiscal year. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, cuts to highway funding and the state’s public retirement system will be key to balancing the Kansas budget.

Brownback’s budget director, Shawn Sullivan, says the administration started by trying to find ways to reduce spending while minimizing the effect the cost-cutting would have on services.

Read more
Government
4:41 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Wichita City Council Approves Water And Sewer Rate Increases For 2015

Credit City of Wichita

The Wichita City Council have approved water and sewer rate increases for 2015. As KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports, the decision will hit industrial users the hardest.

In a 4-2 vote, rate increases proposed by Wichita Public Works and Utilities were finalized.

Residential users can expect a combined 4 to 6 percent increase, depending on use, which translates to about $2—$5 a month.

The largest industrial users, such as Spirit Aerosystems, can expect increases of about 6.3 percent, or just over $3,000 a month.

Read more
Government
1:58 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Kansas Joins 17-State Coalition Lawsuit Against Obama's Immigration Policy

Kansas is part of a 17-state coalition suing over President Barack Obama's recently announced executive actions on immigration.

The states argue in the lawsuit that the move "tramples" key portions of the U.S. Constitution.

Many Republicans are criticizing President Obama's move, which was designed to spare as many as 5 million people living illegally in the United States from deportation.

But Texas Governor-elect Greg Abbott took it a step further. He filed a formal legal challenge in federal court in the Southern District of Texas.

Read more
Government
4:41 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Wichita Police Department Announces Plan To Finance Body Cameras

Interim Police Chief Nelson Mosley, left, is joined by City Manager Bob Layton to announce the city's plan to finance body cameras for every officer
Credit Sean Sandefur

A proposal for how the City of Wichita will finance body cameras for its police department has been announced. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports…

City officials have announced a proposal for the purchase of body cameras for each officer of the Wichita Police Department.

Read more
Government
1:55 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

New Kansas Legislators Prepare For First Session

New members of the Kansas House of Representatives have been taking orientation classes this week preparing for their first legislative session. They're learning about their legislative email accounts and getting their official photos, but as Stephen Koranda reports, looming budget issues are already on their minds.

Kansas lawmakers will have to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming years to balance the budget.

Republican Linda Gallagher, from Lenexa, believes they need to look at raising revenue. She says lawmakers have already made the easiest budget cuts.

Read more
Government
5:18 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Wichita City Council Considers Water And Sewer Rate Increases For 2015

Credit City of Wichita

 

Wichita city council members reviewed a proposal on Tuesday afternoon for water and sewer rate increases for 2015.

Alan King, director of Wichita Public Works and Utilities, says the city maintains over 4,000 miles of water and sewer lines. To keep up with that infrastructure, King’s department has proposed a 6 percent increase for water and 5 percent increase for sewer.  

Read more
Government
12:54 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Merrick Re-Elected As Kansas House Speaker

House Speaker Ray Merrick
Credit Stephen Koranda

Kansas House Republicans have re-elected Ray Merrick to a second, two-year term as speaker. Fellow conservative Virgil Peck had challenged Merrick, but Merrick easily won in an 80-16 vote.

"I would like to think that most of them have seen me for two years and know what I've done and what we got accomplished and I think it validates that," says Merrick.

Merrick says one of his priorities this session will be finding ways to fill a budget hole. He says he'll focus on spending cuts, rather than raising revenues.

Read more
Government
12:58 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Four Kansas Insurance Dept. Directors Set To Retire In December

Four directors are retiring from the Kansas Insurance Department on December 5th.

Directors Marlyn Burch, life division; Neil Woerman, information technology; Steve O'Neil, consumer assistance; and Ted Clark, anti-fraud, will retire. The department has 11 directors.

Burch has worked for the department for 53 years.

O'Neil joined the department in 1987, while Woerman and Clark joined the department in 2003.

The department will wait to fill the positions until Ken Selzer becomes commissioner in January.

Government
12:58 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Gov. Brownback Won't Rule Out Tax Increase To Fix Budget

Governor Sam Brownback is staying tight-lipped about his plans to fix a hole in the state budget. But as Stephen Koranda reports, Brownback says he's looking at all the options.

Following a meeting at the Statehouse, Brownback gave few details to the media about what he'll propose. He says all options are on the table, including tax increases or slowing future scheduled decreases.

Brownback also won't say whether he'll make budget cuts, known as allotments before lawmakers return to the Statehouse in January.

Read more
Government
11:54 am
Tue November 25, 2014

KBI To Survey Kansas Law Enforcement Agencies For Backlogs Involving Sexual Assault Kits

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is trying to find out if Kansas has a backlog of untested sexual assault kits.

Officials say that across the country, hundreds of thousands of the kits remain untested.

The KBI recently sent surveys to all Kansas law enforcement agencies to identify if there is a testing backlog for the kits, which include swabs and specimens gathered during exams of sexual assault victims.

The group's director, Kirk Thompson, says the KBI doesn't think there is one, but wants to make sure.

Read more

Pages