Archive for the ‘Kansas Politics’ Category

Self’S LLC Renews Talk on Closing Tax Break
May 17, 2016

(AP) – Bill Self isn’t paying state taxes on the bulk of his millions of dollars of income as men’s basketball coach at Kansas, all legal under 2012 tax reforms.

KCUR ( ) reports Self earns a taxable salary of $230,000 a year.

But he also gets at least $2.75 million annually from the entity that runs the school’s intercollegiate sports, and that money goes to Self’s BCLT II limited liability company. That’s among the nearly 334,000 Kansas businesses that owe no state income taxes under Gov. Sam Brownback administration’s 2012 tax cuts. Self’s tax break comes out to more than $125,000 a year.

Kansas Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka says he likes Self. But he argues that while the cuts were meant to create jobs, Self doesn’t do that.

Brownback Signs Bill Dropping Welfare Benefits for Needy Families to 24 Months
May 16, 2016

(AP) – Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill Monday that he said is aimed at freeing more people from poverty, but opponents argue the new welfare restrictions leave families without a safety net during financial difficulties.

Under the new law Kansans will be limited to 24 months on cash assistance over their lifetime. The previous limit was 36 months.

Able-bodied recipients of food assistance also will be required to participate in an employment or training program and not quit a job that offers at least 30 hours of work per week.

The Brownback administration estimates that about 9 percent of the approximately 4,900 households receiving cash assistance will reach the new lifetime limit within the next year.

Huelskamp Grad Paper Rips Congressional Ag Committees
May 16, 2016

(AP) – The two-decade-old dissertation of Kansas Congressman Tim Huelskamp is being used against him as he seeks re-election.

The Topeka Capital-Journal ( reports that Huelskamp rails against New Deal-era agriculture subsidies and price supports in his 400-page essay on congressional agriculture committees. He completed it while he was a Ph.D. student at American University in Washington.

To continue representing the 1st Congressional District of western and central Kansas, Huelskamp must overcome Great Bend obstetrician Roger Marshall in the Republican primary. One issue that’s emerged is Huelskamp’s removal from the House Agriculture Committee after he clashed with former Speaker John Boehner.

Marshall noted that Huelskamp, citing research from other scholars, said in his dissertation that the House and Senate agriculture committees “over-represent rural and agricultural interests.”

Huelskamp calls the dissertation questions “outrageous.

Kansas Senators Start to Talk of Tax Money Solutions
April 28, 2016

(AP) – Three Republican senators are proposing a bill to reinstate income taxes for more than 330,000 Kansas business owners.

The Senate Tax Committee reviewed the proposal Thursday as lawmakers try to address the state’s $290 million budget deficit in an election year.

State budget officials say reinstating the tax on farmers and business owners would bring in an estimated $170.6 million in fiscal year 2017. The bill would tax 70 percent of their income.

The Wichita Eagle reports ( ) business groups strongly oppose reversing the tax exemption. Democrats and others say the bill doesn’t go far enough to solve the state’s budget problems.

Gov. Sam Brownback proposed the tax exemption as part of a package slashing personal income taxes in 2012 and 2013, which he said would stimulate the state’s economy.

McCain Thinks Roberts’ Hold on Army Secretary Misses the Mark
April 28, 2016

(AP) – Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts is blocking a vote on the nomination of Eric Fanning to be the next Army secretary. At issue are efforts by the president to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and transfer detainees to the United States.

Republican Sen. John McCain tried to secure a vote on Fanning, who if confirmed would be the first openly gay leader of a U.S. military service.

But Roberts objected on Thursday, saying he won’t relent until the White House promises no detainees will be moved to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

McCain says it’s unfair to block Fanning’s nomination over an unrelated issue. McCain calls it a distortion of the Senate’s advise and consent role.

Fanning has served in several roles at the Pentagon.