Hensley Filing Ethics Complaint to Brownback’s Campaign Finances
January 25, 2016

(AP) – A top lawmaker says he plans to file a complaint with the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission seeking an investigation into Gov. Sam Brownback’s use of campaign donations to pay more than $167,000 in legal fees last year. The payments came as a federal grand jury was investigating loans his running mate, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, made to their 2014 re-election effort.
Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley said Monday he also plans to ask the ethics panel for an advisory opinion on the legality of a candidate using campaign funds as collateral.
Eileen Hawley, spokeswoman for the governor’s office, said in an email Monday speaking on behalf of Colyer that the campaign complied with all laws and regulations and that the investigation into the loans did not result in charges.

Brownback Defends Budget Shift from Childhood Money
January 19, 2016

AP) – Gov. Sam Brownback’s office is defending a budget proposal that a child advocate says would make it easier for Kansas to siphon money from early childhood education.
The Topeka Capital-Journal (http://bit.ly/1P3Izc9 ) reports that Brownback unveiled last week a state budget that would shift the entire Children’s Initiatives Fund to the State General Fund in fiscal year 2017.
The governor’s office says the move is meant to increase accountability and consolidate early childhood programs within the Kansas State Department of Education, which education commissioner Randy Watson says sought the change to better coordinate initiatives.
Shannon Cotsoradis, CEO of Kansas Action for Children, said she does not see how the move leads to better coordination.
The governor’s spokeswoman, Eileen Hawley, said existing childhood programs funded by the Children’s Initiatives Fund will be continued to be fully funded.

Brownback Offers Plan to Fill a $190 Million Hole
January 13, 2016

AP) — Kansas can patch the $190 million hole in its next state budget by juggling state funds, capturing unexpected savings and selling off the assets of an economic development agency, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback told lawmakers Wednesday.

Brownback’s proposed changes in the $16 billion budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 avoid cutting aid to public schools. But his recommendations did not include pay raises for corrections officers at state prisons or a plan to help the Kansas Highway Patrol fill vacant trooper positions — ideas that have bipartisan support.

The state has struggled to balance its budget since Brownback successfully pushed the GOP-dominated Legislature to slash personal income taxes in 2012 and 2013 in an effort to stimulate the economy. His critics contend his tax-cutting experiment has failed while Brownback and his allies say national economic factors — including slumps in agriculture, aviation and energy production — are keeping Kansas from growing as much as hoped.

“With these challenges, we must continue to hold the line on state government expenditures while protecting core state services,” Brownback told lawmakers in a letter accompanying his proposals.

The state faced a larger budget hole last year and Republican lawmakers increased sales and cigarette taxes so they could preserve most of the income tax cuts championed by Brownback. He ruled out additional tax increases this year.

Brownback’s administration projects that his proposals would leave the state with cash reserves of $88 million at the end of June 2017. When budget director Shawn Sullivan presented the recommendations to a joint meeting of the House Appropriations and Senate Ways and Means committees, some members questioned whether the state can meet its revenue projections.

Brownback Cuts Off Planned Parenthood
January 13, 2016

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback followed through with his promise to cut off state funding for Planned parenthood in Kansas.
Brownback sent a letter to the Secretary of Health and the Environment, Dr. Susan Mosier to cut off Planned Parenthood Kansas money.
“Direct you agency to take all necessary steps to terminate Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid Missouri and all associated medical providers from Kansas Medicaid, including KanCare”.
During Brownback’s ‘State of the State Speech Tuesday night he condemned Planned Parenthood.
“Planned Parenthood’s trafficking of baby body parts is antithetical to our belief in human dignity. No longer will we send the money of hard-working Kansans to fund an industry that disrespects life and violates the moral conscience of our people,” he said during his speech.
A Missouri Legislative investigation did not turn up any wrong doing by Planned Parenthood in that state

Brown back Says State Will Not Assist Feds Relocating Syrian Refugees
November 16, 2015

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback says his state agencies will not assist Washington ins re-setting Syrian refugees in Kansas.

“We must take action to ensure terrorists don’t enter Kansas under the guise of refugees,” Brownback said in a statement tweeted out Monday afternoon.

Brownback joins the Governors of more than a dozen states who have declared their will not accept Syrian refugees.

The backlash against accepting people from the mid-east nation accelerated after it was learned one of the Paris attackers entered Europe while posing as a Syrian refugee.

House Speaker Ray Merrick issued a statement in support of the Governor’s move.

He added, “when President Obama declared ISIS was contained just hours before they struck Paris, he made it impossible to rely on information from the federal government.”

Also today, Kansas ‘s Kansas City metro Congressman Kevin Yoder said he was sending a letter to President Obama urging him to reject any Syrian refugees.

Earlier this year, Washington made a commitment to accept 10,,000 refugees from Syria.