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Lawmaker Says Public School Promise Helped Reach Kansas Budget Deal
May 2, 2016

An influential Olathe state legislator, Joint Budget Chairman Ron Ryckman, thinks a pledge not to cut more Kansas school money helped get a midnight budget approved.

Lawmakers worked until early Monday morning before producing a new budget for the state.

Ryckman says the pledge to make no further cuts in public school money was important.

“Well, we’re happy that we could keep out promise on K-thru-12, that their funding remains stable and secure, Ryckman said.

The Joint Budget Chairman says lawmakers cobbled together a “hybrid” of budget options to send to Republican Governor Sam Brownback.

Brownback’s administration had offered legislators a set of three option when they returned to Topeka last week for the wrap-up session.

Those options includes another cut in public education, which was rejected..

The budget bill also gives the Governor leeway to sweep $185 from the highway funds.. That would delay 25 major projects for three years. None of the projects, however, are in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

A $96 million payment to the state’s pension fund could also be delayed.

Higher Education would also face a 3% reduction. That is more than $17 million.

That includes about $1 million in cuts to both Kansas university and Kansas State.

A spokeswoman for the Kansas Board of Regents says the May meeting of the Board would likely discuss the possibility of a tuition increases.

Above the entire budget process looms a ruling from the Kansas Supreme Court on the state’s method of spending on public education.

The Justices ruled the state’s financing system does not treat rich and poor school systems fairly.

The High Court is threatening to declare the school finance system unconstitutional, and shut down every public school in Kansas on July 1.

Kansas Hits April Budget Mark
May 2, 2016

(AP) – Kansas is reporting that its tax collections last month were $2.6 million more than expected, giving state officials a small dose of good news in dealing with ongoing budget problems.

The Department of Revenue reported Monday that the state collected $584.3 million in taxes in April, when the official projection was $581.7 million. The surplus was 0.5 percent.

That’s positive news but revenue projections were slashed only three weeks ago. The tax collections are now being pegged against a more pessimistic forecast.

Still, Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan said there are positive economic signs in personal income and sales tax collections that exceeded expectations.

The report came 12 hours after the Legislature approved a budget-balancing plan that leaves most of the work to Gov. Sam Brownback.

GOP Delegate Hunt Resumes in Missouri
April 29, 2016

The Presidential delegate street fight returns to Missouri this weekend.
While Donald trump won Missouri March presidential primary and 37 of 52 delegates the fight is not over.
The campaigns of Donald trump and Ted Cruz will try and place their supporters in many delegates slots, even if the slot is controlled by the other candidate.
All 52 Missouri delegates are bound to their candidate on the first ballot..
If there is a 2nd, or 3rd, or 4th ballot, they become free agents after that first ballot,. So the campaigns want their supporters as those delegates for that possible 2nd vote said Jennifer Finch, the chair of the 5th District Congressional group.
In many district the campaigns of Trump and Cruz are expected to offer slates of people seeking delegate positions.
The Cruz campaign has proven more adept at organizing delegate slates, even in state where they did not win most of the delegates.
Each convention will pick three delegates to the national convention in Cleveland and three alternates.
The balance of the Missouri delegate will be filled out at the Republican State Convention next month.

Planned Parenthood Keeps Columbia Clinic Open
April 29, 2016

AP) – A federal judge is leaving in place – at least for now – a preliminary injunction barring the state of Missouri from revoking Planned Parenthood’s license to perform abortions at a Columbia clinic.
After a hearing Thursday, U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey said she would weigh the matter and rule “as soon as possible,” the Columbia Daily Tribune (http://bit.ly/1YWsA1O) reported.
Planned Parenthood is fighting to keep the license after University of Missouri Health Care canceled St. Louis physician Colleen McNicholas’ privileges that allowed her to provide medication-induced abortions at the clinic.
Attorneys for Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri argue that political pressure that led to the university’s actions also governed the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services’ decision to revoke the license.

Missouri Religious Objection Bill fails in Committe
April 27, 2016

Efforts to make the issue of same sex marriage an election year issue in Missouri suffers a huge setback Wednesday.
A proposed constitutional amendment protecting citizens who do not want to deal with same sex couples, failed in a tie vote 6-6.
Supporters said the measure would protect Missourians who have deeply help religious beliefs against same sex marriages, from being punished for refusing to deal with same sex couples.
Many Kansas Coty business leaders, and other business groups across the state thought the measure, if approved, would trigger an economic backlash against the state.
With just two a d a half weeks left in the session, it is unlikely there is enough time or will by lawmakers to try and revive the bill

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