Sam Brownback

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

The Midwest Regional Public Finance Conference was held in Wichita today. Experts on the role of the government in the economy discussed the latest research, regulations and trends.

Kelly Edmiston, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, says the economy in the Kansas region is growing more slowly than the rest of U.S. He says the setbacks are the result of a decline in the energy and agricultural sectors.

Andy Marso

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is withdrawing the state from the federal refugee relocation program. Brownback announced Tuesday that he has notified President Barack Obama's administration that due to safety concerns, Kansas will no longer participate in the refugee resettlement program.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

A large, emotionally charged crowd gathered at the Board of Education meeting Monday night. Some were carrying signs protesting cuts to public education.

As has been the case in previous meetings, community members voiced concerns about budget-balancing measures being considered by Wichita Public Schools. Efforts to stabilize the budget include reducing the number of custodial staff, librarians and school nurses.

Jimmy Everson, DVM, flickr Creative Commons

The state of Kansas reduced its revenue projections for this fiscal year and the next by $228.6 million, further increasing the state's budget deficit. As a result, Gov. Sam Brownback proposed three plans for erasing the shortfall, one of which affects K-12 education.

The plan would cut spending to public schools, universities and most state agencies by nearly $140 million. Cuts ranging from 3 percent to 5 percent would reduce funding for school districts across the state by more than $57 million.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File Photo

Estimates for Kansas tax collections were ratcheted down sharply yesterday. The state’s projected revenues dropped by a quarter-billion dollars over the next year-and-a-half. That leaves Kansas with a budget deficit. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is proposing plans for erasing the shortfall.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

A handful of university economists and state officials are meeting behind closed doors in Topeka today. Their objective is to come up with an accurate estimate of how much tax revenue Kansas will collect over the next year.

It’s a process the state has used since the late 70s for budgeting purposes--but it’s suddenly become controversial.

The last time the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group met, the news wasn’t good.

Dave Ranney, Heartland Health Monitor

A children’s advocacy group is charging that welfare policies championed by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback are pushing more families into poverty. Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean has the latest in the ongoing dispute.

The nonprofit advocacy organization Kansas Action for Children says the Brownback administration’s welfare policies are unraveling the state’s social services safety net.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has vetoed a bill designed to make it easier for local communities to attack blight by taking over abandoned properties.

The Republican governor cited property rights in his veto message Monday to legislators. Brownback said the aim of the bill was laudable but said it "takes a step too far."

The bill would have changed the definition of abandoned property to include blighted real estate that has been unoccupied for a year. It would have allowed a district court to give a local government or nonprofit group possession.

Alex Starr, flickr Creative Commons

The back-and-forth discussion about school funding in the state of Kansas has been, without a doubt, confusing. Last week, Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill that lawmakers hope will fix a major problem in education financing. But how could that bill affect students in Wichita? And what does it mean for the future of education funding in Kansas?

401(K) 2012 / Flickr Creative Commons

The majority of business owners surveyed by the Wichita Independent Business Association say the state’s income tax exemption for many small businesses should be amended.

Back in 2012, Gov. Sam Brownback ended all taxes on non-wage income for LLCs, subchapter S corporations and sole proprietorships, calling the move a “shot of adrenaline” for the economy. The idea was that small businesses would keep more of the money they make, allowing them to hire more people and expand their facilities.

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