Archive for the ‘Kansas Politics’ Category

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 (http://bit.ly/1SvNGDR ) 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.

Kansas Lawmakers Have a Full Plate
April 27, 2016

(AP) – Kansas lawmakers must close shortfalls in the current and next state budgets totaling $290 million after returning from their annual spring break.

The Legislature was reconvening Wednesday morning. It was only a week after state officials and university economists issued new, more pessimistic forecast that slashed revenue projections through June 2017.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback plans to divert highway funds to general government programs and delay major road projects. He also expects to cut higher education spending.

He’s proposed selling off part of the state’s annual payments from a national legal settlement with tobacco companies to generate a one-time infusion of cash.

Lawmakers have been cold to the idea. As alternatives, he’s suggested delaying contributions to public employee pensions or making $139 million in spending cuts.

Brownback Pulls Kansas Out of Federal Refugee Plan
April 26, 2016

TOPEKA, Kan. – Governor Sam Brownback on Monday notified the Obama Administration that the state of Kansas is withdrawing from the federal government’s refugee relocation program due to concerns for the safety of Kansans.

Beginning in November 2015, the governor attempted to work with the federal government to address security concerns related to resettlement of some refugees in Kansas.

“We made a reasonable request of the Obama Administration to provide us with information we need to help protect the safety and security of Kansans,” Brownback said in a statement. “Because the federal government has failed to provide adequate assurances regarding refugees it is settling in Kansas, we have no option but to end our cooperation with and participation in the federal refugee resettlement program.”

Brownback, along with governors of several states, asked White House officials in November to share vetting information as President Obama pledged to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees.

The administration, Brownback said, declined citing the privacy rights of the refugees.

Kansas Slashes Revenue Estimates
April 20, 2016

Kansas budget officials dropped their projection on how much money the state will take in in the next 16 months.

The Consensus Revenue Estimating group reduced their project by 228.6 million.
That could put the state in a budget hole, based on the state budget Kansas lawmakers passed earlier this year.

A statement from Governor Sam Brownback’s office says any solution in the soon-to-start wrap-up session of lawmakers will not include a tax increase on small business or any other Kansas.

The budget shortfall will be a major topic when lawmakers return to Topeka next week for what is supposed to be a brief wrap-up session.

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