Archive for the ‘kansas city’ Category

Brownback’s Budget Advisor to Lawmakers: Find $400 Million
April 20, 2015

(AP) – Gov. Sam Brownback’s top budget adviser says Kansas legislators must find about $400 million through tax increases or spending cuts during the state’s next fiscal year after the release of new, more pessimistic revenue projections.

Budget Director Shawn Sullivan said Monday that the Republican governor is working on proposals to trim from $80 million to $90 million in spending from the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

He said much of the savings will come from lower-than-anticipated costs for social services. Sullivan said the governor wouldn’t propose cutting aid to public schools.

Republican legislative leaders had been working on budget proposals that would have required about $150 million in general tax increases to avoid a deficit.

Brownback already has proposed raising alcohol and tobacco taxes.

Brownback Signs Tough Welfare Reform Law
April 16, 2015

Kansas Govenor Sam Brownback sign one of the nation’s strictest welfare laws into place Thursday.
The measure limits the amount a welfare recipients can get from an ATM machine, restricts where welfare fund can be spent and hold some recipients responsible for the actions of others.
Brownback has long pushed the concept of work over welfare.
“That’s where the real benefit is, it’s getting people off of public assistance and back into the market place and gaining the dignity and far more income there than the pittance of the government,” he said as he signed the bill.
Among its elements was a $25 limitation on the use of a welfare cash card at an ATM.
The executive Director of the United services of Johnson County, Karen Wulfkuhle worries of the impact on many poor families who do not have checking accounts and often pay bills like rent or utilities with cash or money orders.
“And to be able to make all of the payment they need to make over the course of a month with that limitation could be a hardship for those families,” she said.
The new legislation restricts what welfare can buy with their cards.
Those items include alcohol, tobacco products college and pro sports tickets and some other forms of entertainment, including sexual oriented businesses.
The cards may not be used in other stores liked jewelry stories; massage parlors, nail shops casinos, liquor stores and lingerie shops.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Kansas is the 24th state to place state restrictions on the federal benefits from the That Assistance to needy Families (TANF) program.
Many, however, think the Kansas restrictions may be some of the strictest in the land.

Roe Says He Wrote the Schwiech ‘ Barney Fife’ Spot
April 16, 2015

(AP) — A Missouri political consultant says he personally paid for a radio attack ad on the late state Auditor Tom Schweich during Schweich’s bid for governor.

Jeff Roe, the founder of a Kansas City political consulting firm, said in a statement Tuesday he footed the bill for a “House of Cards”-themed ad criticizing Schweich as weak.

Schweich fatally shot himself Feb. 26. He was facing a Republican primary with former state House speaker and U.S. attorney Catherine Hanaway in the governor’s race.

In a statement, Roe lamented Schweich’s death. Police have said it’s unclear why Schweich shot himself.

Roe paid for the ad through a limited liability company he solely owns.

The committee that produced the ad had shared the same treasurer as Hanaway’s campaign. Hanaway has said she didn’t know about the ad before it aired.

Clayton Cops Say Schweich Pondered Suicide Before
April 14, 2015

AP) – Investigators say Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich had talked for years of taking his own life but left behind no suicide note when he fatally shot himself several weeks ago.

Police in the St. Louis suburb of Clayton said Tuesday that they’re nearing the end of their investigation and have found nothing to suggest the death of the Republican candidate for governor was anything other than a suicide.

Although Schweich had been prescribed two-dozen different drugs for such things as pain relief and Crohn’s disease, toxicology tests showed there were no illegal drugs in his system.

Also Tuesday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced plans to appoint Democrat Nicole Galloway – a county treasurer – to fill the job. She would serve the remainder of Schweich’s four-year term, which began in January.

A 2 Cent Hike in Missouri Gas Tax?
April 14, 2015

(AP) – Missouri lawmakers are proposing a 2-cent gas tax increase as a step toward easing a projected funding shortfall that officials warn could result in the deterioration of many roads and bridges.

Similar proposals considered Tuesday by the full Senate and by a House committee would raise the state’s 17-cent fuel tax to 19 cents a gallon in January 2016.

That would bring in about $55 million annually for the transportation department. It would allow the state to match all of its expected federal funds in 2017. But the increase would not be enough to match all federal funds in 2018.

Supporters say the proposed tax increase is a first step toward better transportation funding.

Missouri voters last year rejected a proposed three-quarter cent sales tax to fund transportation.


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