Sam Brownback

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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.

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A study by the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) says 96.7 percent of interstate highways and 91.7 percent of non-interstate highways in the state were ranked as "good" in the fiscal year ending in July.

To figure out the rating, the department evaluates the state's 10,000-mile highway system annually and gives marks based on scores of surface roughness and distress. KDOT says it aims for 85 percent of interstate highways and 80 percent of non-interstate highways to be rated as good. This year's rankings were higher than that.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Last month, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback asked for help on how what should be in a new school funding formula. On Thursday, he got some pretty vague suggestions from the state school board association.

Kansas lawmakers threw out the old funding formula last year and legislators will work on a new plan next year. Brownback offered no specifics when he sent a letter around two weeks ago asking for suggestions.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Some Kansas lawmakers are criticizing new state worker regulations proposed by Gov. Sam Brownback. His administration wants to change how state agencies determine who gets laid off first.

The proposal would also give agencies discretion to protect certain employees. But critics say these changes would reduce the value of experience and make layoffs more subjective. Democratic state Rep. Jim Ward calls the changes an attack on state employees.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Gov. Sam Brownback announced Wednesday that he has reached out to Kansas school districts, boards of education and various education associations asking for input on the state's school funding system.

Gage Skidmore, flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Sam Brownback is reaching out to education leaders to discuss the development of a new education funding strategy. He plans to host a press conference on the subject on Wednesday afternoon.

In a release from the governor's office, Brownback says he will be announcing a plan for developing a funding system that ensures high-quality education for Kansas students. So far, that plan is to engage the members of the education community, including Jim McNiece, the chairman of the Kansas State Board of Education, and Dr. Randall Watson, the Kansas Commissioner of Education.

Stephen Koranda, File Photo

A temporary block grant system for education in Kansas is set to expire next year and lawmakers are planning to write a new school funding formula to replace it. How much money a new formula provides per student could be one of the major issues of contention.

Mark Tallman, with the Kansas Association of School Boards, says Kansas does well on most education measures, but his group is studying the states that perform even better.

Universities in Kansas have been taking steps to absorb state funding cuts. As Stephen Koranda reports, the University of Kansas and Kansas State University are adopting different approaches.

KU announced this week that there would be positions left unfilled and targeted budget cuts, including some significant reductions to certain programs. At K-State, the strategy is a little different: Spokesperson Jeff Morris says K-State officials gave all departments an equal cut of just under 4 percent.


Kansas artists and arts organizations won’t have the access to grant money that they have had in previous years. That’s because the National Endowment for the Arts has said that state lawmakers did not allocate enough money to qualify for the grants, which are managed by the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission.

Kansas is now ineligible for close to $800,000 in matching funds from federal and regional arts supporters.