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Kansas Revenue Report 1% Off
August 29, 2014

(AP) – A new report says Kansas collected $4 million less in taxes than expected in August.

The Department of Revenue said Friday the state took in $421 million in taxes, about 1 percent below the official forecast of $425 million.

The department called revenues flat but said there are signs of economic growth in the figures. Corporate income tax collections exceeded expectations for the month.

The state saw a slight surplus in tax collections in July. Since the current fiscal year began July 1, the state has collected about $829 million in revenues, against projections of nearly $832 million. The difference is about $2.4 million, or 0.3 percent.

The numbers are likely to renew a political debate over massive income tax cuts enacted at Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s urging.

Ted Cruz Hires KC Consultant Jeff Roe for Possible 2016 Bid
August 29, 2014

Politico:
Ted Cruz is beefing up his political staff as speculation heats up that the Texas senator may run for president in 2016.

The Republican firebrand is adding muscle to his campaign and political operations to help Cruz and his staff keep up with the growing political demands on Cruz since he arrived in the Senate in 2013 and achieved fame — or notoriety, depending on one’s view.

Joel Mowbray, a consultant for a foreign policy think tank, has been volunteering for the political operation and “will end up playing a role” on the paid political staff, the adviser said. Nick Muzin, a former top House Republican Conference aide that now works in Cruz’s congressional office as a deputy chief of staff, will be working on coalitions building and outreach for Cruz’s political operation.

Jason Miller, who’s advised prominent conservatives like Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), has been brought on to “to put together a more robust communications operation,” the adviser said, while longtime GOP presidential campaign hand and Axiom Strategies founder Jeff Roe has been brought on board to build out the political organization. Lauren Lofstron will work on fundraising. Those three hires were first reported by the Washington Examiner.

More:http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=009B6C55-CF1E-4F23-97EA-CE879C0EAC46

Kansas Waits on Key Budget Numbers
August 29, 2014

(AP) – Kansas officials are awaiting word on whether the state’s tax collections in August met expectations.

The state Department of Revenue’s report Friday afternoon was expected to renew a political debate over massive income tax cuts enacted at Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s urging. Brownback says the tax cuts are stimulating economic growth, but critics contend the reductions are wrecking the state’s finances.

The Legislature’s nonpartisan research staff is projecting that the state will face a $238 million budget shortfall by July 2016, even if tax collections meet the state’s official projections between now and then.

Kansas collected about $4 million more in taxes in July than anticipated, but tax collections in April, May and June fell a total of $334 million short of expectations.

Ferguson Bills Coming Due: $3-6 Million
August 29, 2014

(AP) – The cost of extra policing in Ferguson after rioting and looting that followed the police shooting death of an unarmed 18-year-old could cost local, Missouri and federal taxpayers millions of dollars.

St. Louis County Chief Operating Officer Garry Earls estimates the county spent $1.5 million in police overtime to deal with unrest in the St. Louis suburb since Michael Brown’s death Aug. 9.

Earls figures the total tab for all bolstered security in Ferguson could range from $3 million to $6 million, with governing jurisdictions ultimately looking to the state and federal governments for reimbursement.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the state should expect a bill for the roughly $740,000 it cost his department to supply additional police manpower in Ferguson

Hillary Clinton On Ferguson Troubles, Almost 3 Weeks After Shooting
August 29, 2014

(AP) – Hillary Rodham Clinton broke nearly three weeks of silence Thursday on the fatal police shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old in Missouri, saying his death and the violent protests that followed resulted from frayed bonds of trust in a racially divided community.

The remarks by the former secretary of state during a speech to a technology group were her first about Michael Brown’s Aug. 9 death in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.

As a potential Democratic presidential candidate, Clinton was criticized for waiting so long to talk about the shooting of Brown, who was black, by a white police officer after a midday confrontation on a street.

Clinton lamented the shooting and the numerous tense confrontations that followed between angry protesters and heavily armed police.

“This is what happens when the bonds of trust and respect that hold any community together fray,” she said. “Nobody wants to see out streets look like a war zone. Not in America. We are better than that.”

She said America cannot ignore inequalities in its justice system.

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