Kansas House Looks at School. Spending Delay as Budget Stop Gap
January 29, 2015

(AP) – A Kansas House committee has modified a proposal from Republican Gov. Sam Brownback to delay providing some funds to school districts for four months.

The Appropriations Committee began work Thursday on a bill that would close a projected $279 million shortfall in the current state budget.

Brownback’s budget-balancing plan relies most heavily on diverting funds for highway projects and other special funds into the state’s main bank account, which has the projected deficit.

But Brownback also hoped to avoid a mid-February cash crunch for the state by delaying $45 million in payments to schools for building repairs and equipment until June.

The committee voted to delay only $20 million in payments.

Brownback Adjusts Drought Rules for Cattle Farmers
August 24, 2012

(AP) – Gov. Sam Brownback has revised an executive order making it easier for drought-stricken livestock producers to get hay to their animals.

Thursday’s order replaces one Brownback issued in late July waiving some rules for trucks on Kansas roads.

The order suspends requirements for registration and fuel tax permits from the state Revenue Department. It also suspends several regulations of the Kansas Corporation Commission.

Brownback says the goal is to make it easier to deliver hay to livestock in places where drought has damaged or destroyed pastures and silage crops.

Brownback also announced that Marshall County has been declared a federal natural disaster area, bringing all 105 Kansas counties under federal designation.

More Subpoenas Issued for Lawmakers in Probe of Brownback Meetings
June 5, 2012

(AP) – A Kansas prosecutor has issued subpoenas to seven legislators he wants to question about private meetings between lawmakers and Gov. Sam Brownback.

Brownback hosted seven private dinners in January at his official residence with lawmakers from 13 House and Senate committees. The Republican governor has expressed confidence that the gatherings did not violate the Kansas Open Meetings Act.

But Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor, a Democrat, is investigating the meetings and wants to talk to some of the lawmakers.

Sen. Susan Wagle received a subpoena ordering her to appear Thursday in district court in Topeka. Wagle said Tuesday she considers Taylor’s investigation a waste of time.

The Wichita Republican also said she’s arranging to answer questions by phone so she doesn’t have to travel while undergoing treatment for cancer.

Tax Reform Deal Upsets Some Kansas Senators
May 10, 2012

Topeka Capital Journal:

The Senate sidestepped the vote Wednesday on a state tax reduction compromise labeled by Republicans as a fair piece of legislation and by Democrats as damaging to the working poor.
Before senators reached their full debate stride, maneuvering in the House intervened to throw a haymaker into politically charged dialogue on taxes.
The Senate’s debate was cut short because the House sent to Gov. Sam Brownback a different tax reform bill adopted by the Senate two months ago. It reduces individual income tax rates, drops taxes on businesses and reduces the state sales tax.
However, skeptics of the bill argued the measure could create an $800 million deficit in 2015.
“I am prepared to sign the bill,” Brownback said, “but I encourage Kansas legislators to continue their work on reforming our state’s tax policy and to consider some of the alternatives I proposed in my original pro-growth tax reform to off-set the cost.”
The compromise bill, less aggressive in cutting taxes than the bill now before the governor, would have dropped individual state income tax rates and phase out taxes on non-wage income for more than 190,000 businesses in Kansas
The Working Kansas Alliance also blasted the tax reform deal in a statement Wednesday.
“Under this plan Kansas is projected to be billions of dollars in the hole within three years,” the group said in a statement.

Brownback Disputes Lawmakers Budget Numbers
May 3, 2012

(AP) – Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration is disputing new projections from legislative staff showing that proposed tax cuts would create a budget gap of more than $700 million in 2018.

Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan said Wednesday he’s confident an analysis by his office will show no shortfall if lawmakers pass a compromise tax-cut plan. Brownback has endorsed the plan.

Jordan and Brownback’s budget director said they disagree with the Legislative Research Department’s methods for calculating the cumulative effects of tax cuts in future years. The administration expects to have its own projections Thursday.

Lawmakers in both parties say they want to ensure that tax cuts don’t create future budget problems.