Sam Brownback

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Gov. Sam Brownback is taking some budget options off the table for now in the face of sagging revenue numbers.

Kansas tax collections were more than $60 million short of expectations over the last three months. Brownback told reporters today that he won’t push for tax increases. He also isn’t considering mid-year budget cuts.

“I’m really not looking at allotments. We’ll try to figure a way through it another way, and I think we’ll be able to,” Brownback says.

Stephen Koranda

Gov. Sam Brownback has proclaimed October as “Zombie Preparedness Month.” That not-so-serious name is aimed at getting people to think about a serious topic.

Brownback stood next to 15-year-old Faith Tucking, who was decked out in bloody zombie makeup, as he signed the proclamation Wednesday. The idea behind “Zombie Preparedness Month” in Kansas is an eye-catching way to think about emergencies. The supplies needed to survive a zombie attack will actually benefit you in other emergencies.

Via Christi

The CEO of Kansas’ largest health care system is renewing his call for Medicaid expansion.

Jeff Korsmo runs the Via Christi health system. It operates hospitals in Wichita, Manhattan, Pittsburg and Wamego.

Korsmo says the health care system is initiating cost-cutting measures because its revenues are running behind projections two months into the budget year.

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Gov. Sam Brownback says work on a new formula for funding Kansas' public schools should focus on how local districts spend their money, create incentives to shift dollars into classroom instruction and encourage merit pay for teachers.

The Republican governor said during an Associated Press interview that he'd like the GOP-dominated Legislature to draft a new formula next year. It would determine how the state distributes the bulk of its aid the 286 districts, now more than $4 billion.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback Friday highlighted changes made in recent years to strengthen KPERS, the pension plan for state and local employees. But the governor had little to say when asked if he’d push for further reforms.

Brownback has supported moving the state from a pension to a 401(k)-style plan, where workers are responsible for managing their own retirement investments. When asked if that's still his preference, Brownback would only say that he is reviewing the matter.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

If President Obama closes the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba, the suspected terrorists who are housed there might be transferred to the military prison at Fort Leavenworth. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has spoken out against that idea.

Yesterday, he brought that message to Leavenworth and heard from the people who would be most directly affected: local residents. KPR’s Stephen Koranda was at the public meeting and files this report.


Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s nominee for commerce secretary has backed out of the job, after citing a possible conflict of interest. As Stephen Koranda reports, the withdrawal comes just a day before a hearing on his nomination was set to begin.

Dave Ranney file photo / KHI News

The president of the Kansas Hospital Association is taking issue with recent comments made by Gov. Sam Brownback about Medicaid expansion.

The governor said rather than lobbying for expansion, hospitals should address their financial problems by innovating and getting more efficient. He said reductions in Medicare payments triggered by the Affordable Care Act are the biggest problem for Kansas hospitals.

But hospital association president Tom Bell says the governor is wrong about that.

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Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback urged school districts on Tuesday to move more money into the classroom and hold down the administrative costs of running their schools.

The Republican governor's comments came after he addressed educators at a training session in Wichita and lauded the Kansas Reading Roadmap initiative, a program that aims to improve reading levels in grades K-3.

Linn County Sheriff's Department

Gov. Sam Brownback’s brother, Jim Brownback, has been involved in some long-running disputes with neighbors in Linn County, in Eastern Kansas.

Tim Carpenter, a reporter with the Topeka Capital-Journal, says there are questions about whether Jim Brownback has benefited from his connection to the state’s most powerful politician. Carpenter wrote about the allegations in an article published over the weekend.