Sam Brownback

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Legislative researchers have found that the bond debt in Kansas has more than tripled since the late 1990s.

A chart they created shows the debt level stands at more than $5 billion for the 2017 fiscal year, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported. From fiscal year 1997 to 2017, the total amount of bond debt increased by 336.4 percent, or $3.8 billion, according to the chart.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Some high-ranking Republicans have said tax policy is on the table as lawmakers work to eliminate a state budget deficit. But as Stephen Koranda reports, they aren’t endorsing a tax increase.

Senate President Susan Wagle previously said all options for Kansas budget balancing are up for consideration.

This week, Gov. Sam Brownback said he’s not ruling anything out when it comes to the budget. But Brownback pushed for the tax cuts, and he is not saying he likes the idea of modifying them.

The first TV spot has landed in the contentious battle to retain four Kansas Supreme Court justices in the November Election. The ad was paid for by Kansans for Fair Courts, the group backing retention.

The 30-second spot starts airing in the Wichita market on Friday. It takes on the two biggest issues Republicans and other conservatives are using against four of the five justices on the ballot: the death penalty and school finance.

The ad also tries to tie the ouster of the justices to Gov. Sam Brownback.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

A task force charged with addressing the problems of health care delivery in rural Kansas met for nearly five hours in Salina yesterday. As Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson reports, they still haven’t settled on a direction.

A task force appointed by Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback says changes are needed to improve the revenue estimates used to build the state budget. But the top Democrat on the Senate’s budget-writing committee says the recommendations may have more to do with politics.

Retired Wichita advertising executive Sam Williams chaired the task force. He told reporters at a Statehouse news conference that the group’s sole aim was to retool a revenue estimating process that has been increasingly inaccurate in recent years.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

A task force appointed by Gov. Sam Brownback has suggested a series of changes to how Kansas officials estimate future tax collections. Those estimates are used when lawmakers craft the budget.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File Photo

Updated at 4:00 p.m:

Kansas tax collections came in more than $40 million short of estimates in September. That grows the budget deficit for the current fiscal year to around $60 million.

Jim McLean / Heartland Health Monitor

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says his support for Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump isn’t inconsistent with views on the racial issues that continue to divide America.

Brownback recently attended the opening ceremony for the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. He was invited because he co-sponsored the bill that created the museum as a member of the U.S. Senate.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has decided against proposing across-the-board cuts in state spending next year after his budget director asked agencies to propose 5 percent reductions and found some of the recommendations "harmful" to services.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Gov. Sam Brownback says his office won't release any spending plans until the final version of the budget is unveiled in January.

The administration has asked state agencies and universities to imagine what they would do if a 5 percent budget cut was needed, but those documents won’t be made public. The governor's office says such draft documents are not subject to the Kansas Open Records Act.