Sam Brownback

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.

Dave Ranney, Heartland Health Monitor

Documents obtained by a child advocacy organization show that representatives of a Wall Street firm met with Kansas officials about bonding the state’s tobacco settlement last fall.

Kansas Action for Children President Shannon Cotsoradis says a document her organization obtained from a national business reporter confirms that a plan for bonding the state’s tobacco settlement is under discussion.

Stephen Koranda, File Photo / KPR

The Kansas ethics commission has announced no action on a complaint filed by a top Democrat against Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's re-election campaign.

The commission emerged from a 20-minute closed session Wednesday without saying anything about the complaint filed last month by Kansas Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley.

The Topeka Democrat accused Brownback's 2014 re-election campaign of violating state law by using its funds to pay five law firms more than $167,000 last year.

Stephen Koranda file photo / KPR

Kansas lawmakers have voted to limit Gov. Sam Brownback’s authority to demolish the Docking office building in downtown Topeka and build a new utility plant for state offices.

Plans have been in the works to demo or rehab the Docking facility. The bill says any new moves would require legislative approval.

That comes after the governor entered a $20 million agreement for a new utility plant without the consent of lawmakers. He’s since decided to back out of the plan.

Jasleen Kaur, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas’ rejection of Medicaid expansion has now cost the state more than $1 billion in lost federal revenue.

The Kansas Hospital Association keeps a running total of how much federal money the state is losing because it hasn’t expanded KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program.

That total spun past $1 billion over the weekend.

Hospitals say they urgently need the additional federal dollars to offset reductions in other federal reimbursements.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

The Kansas Statehouse filled with more than 1,000 people opposing government policies that they say hamper religious freedom.

Speakers at yesterday’s rally criticized requirements that businesses offer certain types of birth control coverage in their health insurance. A florist from Washington state told the crowd that she was sued for refusing to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding.

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