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Headlines for Saturday, January 9, 2016

Brownback Broadens Order Against Refugee Resettlements

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has issued a new, broader executive order telling state agencies that they can't assist with resettling refugees who are security risks. The order issued by the governor yesterday (FRI) applies to any refugees presenting a security risk to the state. Brownback's office issued a statement saying the order recognizes the threat posed by terrorists or refugees sympathetic to them. The Republican governor issued an executive order in November that applied specifically to Syrian refugees. Like the previous order, the new one also is aimed at preventing organizations that receive state grant money from helping relocate refugees. The new order says the restrictions will remain in place until Kansas is assured that the federal government has an adequate process for vetting refugees.


Report: Governor Repays Campaign Loans

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A new report shows Republican Governor Sam Brownback has made a final $100,000 repayment on loans from his running mate to their re-election campaign. Three loans from Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer totaling $1.5 million were the subject of a federal grand jury investigation last year. No charges were filed. The campaign also repaid the governor and his wife $100,000, half of what they loaned to the campaign in October 2014. The Brownback campaign listed the transactions in a finance report filed yesterday (FRI), covering all of last year.  After his re-election, the Brownback campaign received nearly $578,000 in contributions last year. It spent $574,000. More than $167,000 went to legal fees paid to various law firms. The campaign reported it had $51,385 at the end of the year.


Kansas Tax Amnesty Generates $7M Less Than Expected

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A tax amnesty program designed to help balance the Kansas budget has generated only about three-quarters of what lawmakers expected. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the program brought in about $23 million, which fell about $7 million short of the $30 million that was anticipated. The Legislature and Governor Sam Brownback passed the amnesty program this past spring as part of a massive revenue package to raise $400 million to balance the state budget. The program ran from September 1 through October 15. Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, provided the $23 million figure to The Capital-Journal. It matched what House Tax Committee chairman Marvin Kleeb said he understood the program had generated. Kleeb, an Overland Park Republican, says the program was successful, despite falling short of the estimate.


State Mistakenly Notifies Some Employees They've Been Fired

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Department of Administration has apologized after several state employees were mistakenly notified that they had been fired. Department spokesman John Milburn said Thursday a computer glitch caused the problem. The email was intended for people who retired or were fired last year, saying the state would no longer furnish them with W-2 forms.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the email was instead went to 3,800 state employees. Milburn says he wasn't sure how many people on the list should have received the email. The administration department sent an email Thursday apologizing for the mistake.


Judge Dismisses Ouster Against Topeka City Councilman

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Shawnee County judge quickly dismissed a civil action to remove a Topeka city councilman charged with child abuse from the council. But prosecutors say they will refile the action later. In a hearing yesterday (FRI), Judge Franklin Theis dismissed the ouster effort against Jonathan Robert Schumm. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the district attorney's office sought the dismissal earlier in the day. But prosecutors said they would refile the civil action after the criminal case against Schumm is resolved. Schumm and his wife, Allison Nicole Schumm, are charged with one criminal count each of aggravated battery and four counts of endangering a child. Court records show that Jonathan Schumm is accused of choking a child and threatening to "kill him." He has denied the allegations.


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