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Stephen Koranda Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has unveiled his comprehensive plan for growing the state’s economy. The announcement comes one month to the day since Brownback took office. During the campaign, he pledged to have an economic plan on the table in his first 30 days. Brownback says growing the state’s economy will help solve the state’s budget woes.Brownback has already taken some of the actions, including reorganizing economic development agencies. The governor is proposing two tax changes. He wants new tax breaks for business investments and income tax rebates to attract people to rural...

Stephen Koranda Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback today (THUR) unveiled his comprehensive plan for growing the state’s economy. Brownback has already taken some of the actions, including reorganizing economic development agencies. The governor is proposing two tax changes. He wants new tax breaks for business investments. Brownback is also proposing a 5-year income tax rebate for people moving to rural counties that have seen significant population decline.12 sec......The governor will also head a Council of Economic Advisors. Brownback says the group will coordinate economic growth efforts and hold economic...

Stephen Koranda Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Several hundred supporters of the arts in Kansas gathered near the Statehouse today (THUR) to protest against cutting the Arts Commission. Governor Sam Brownback has signed an executive order to eliminate the agency. K.T. Walsh, of Lawrence, came to the rally armed with a 7-foot-tall sign shaped like the iconic figure of John Brown painted in the Capitol. She believes the Arts Commission does a lot of good in the state for a small amount of tax dollars.Governor Brownback has said cutting the Arts Commission would save the state around 600 thousand dollars next fiscal year. He’s created the...

KPR Web Operations Thursday, February 10th, 2011

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Bryan Thompson Thursday, February 10th, 2011

A new statewide poll shows that a large majority of Kansans like the law put in place last summer that bans smoking in inside most public places. And as Jim McLean of the KHI News Service reports, it also shows that voters don’t want to see the law repealed.

KPR Web Operations Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

36—That’s how many women died from 2007 through 2009 in sexual assault and domestic violence cases in Kansas. Kansas Public Radio’s Bryan Thompson has more on a new report titled “Beyond Statistics”.

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Governor Sam Brownback this week signed an executive order to eliminate the Kansas Arts Commission. It would be replaced with a new non-profit organization, known as the Kansas Arts Foundation. This has arts supporters warning that the state could lose more than a million dollars in federal matching funds. Henry Schwaller is the chairman of the Kansas Arts Commission. He says the new organization won’t be eligible for federal dollars the Arts Commission currently receives.The order to eliminate the Arts Commission will take effect July 1st, unless it's rejected by the Legislature. We’ll have...

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Legislation in the Kansas House could roll back a state law that allows some illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at Kansas Universities. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us, the House Federal and State Affairs Committee has wrapped up two days of hearings on the issue.

KPR Web Operations Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

A poll released today (WED) shows that 77 percent of Kansas voters are in favor of the state’s new smoke-free law. The law, which took effect in July, prohibits smoking in most public places. In addition to finding broad support for the law, pollster Glen Bolger says that 59 percent of voters responded that they would be less likely to support a candidate who wants to repeal it.The poll was paid for by several organizations that lobbied for the law and are now gearing up to fight an expected effort to repeal it. They hired Bolger – who does polling for several Republican members of Congress...

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Opponents of a bill that would tighten requirements for voting and voter registration in Kansas testified today (WED) before a House committee. The legislation would require voters to show a photo ID at the polls. It would also require people registering to vote to prove their citizenship. Kevin Myles is president of the Kansas Conference of the NAACP. He believes the restrictions could discourage Kansans from voting.Myles says the requirements in the law could make voter registration drives in the community nearly impossible. Supporters of the legislation say the changes are needed to...

Stephen Koranda Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Governor Sam Brownback this week signed an order to eliminate the Kansas Arts Commission. It’s part of Brownback’s efforts to handle a 500 million dollar budget deficit. The order will take effect July 1st, unless it’s rejected by the Legislature. Brownback says the move would save the state around 600 thousand dollars next fiscal year. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us, supporters of the Arts Commission say it costs the state just 29 cents per Kansan per year. They say cutting the Arts Commission will cost the state much more than that.Supporters of the Arts Commission have a rally planned...

Bryan Thompson Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and his counterparts in 22 other states are telling the U-S Supreme Court that greenhouse gas emissions standards should be decided by legislators and regulators, not the courts. As Kansas Public Radio’s Bryan Thompson explains, these 23 states want the high court to ban the use of public nuisance lawsuits to regulate greenhouse gases.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

An economic development agency currently housed within state government is facing elimination, but groups that have been helped by the agency are now pushing back. Governor Sam Brownback wants other state agencies to take over the functions of the currently-independent Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation, which provides venture capital and business help to high-tech startups. But Nitrite Solutions C-E-O Jeremy Jones says the state's effort should be something that is separate.Cutting KTEC (KAY-tek) and some of its programs would save about three and a half million dollars in the next...

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Members of the Kansas Senate are being urged to preserve a state economic development agency that's currently on the budgetary chopping block. Governor Sam Brownback wants to fold the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation, or KTEC (KAY-tek), into the Department of Commerce and the Kansas Board of Regents. But Nitrite Solutions C-E-O Jeremy Jones says KTEC is worth keeping around.Governor Brownback, however, says Kansas has too many stand-alone economic development agencies. Former Governor Kathleen Sebelius also tried to give KTEC the axe, but lawmakers voted to continue funding for it...

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Elected officials in Kansas who run ads promoting state programs would face restrictions under a bill that's being championed by State Treasurer Ron Estes. Estes says incumbents should not be allowed to use state dollars to run advertisments in the leadup to elections. That's something that WAS done by two officials last year. Estes says the ads are a little different than publicly-funded campaign commercials.State officers would be blocked from appearing in ads within 60 days of an election. The measure was heard by the House Elections Committee on Monday.

Stephen Koranda Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

The Kansas House has approved a bill to trim spending for the current fiscal year. The bill would give the state a balance of around 35 million dollars at the end of the fiscal year in June. Governor Sam Brownback asked lawmakers to make the cuts to help fill a nearly 500 million dollar deficit for next fiscal year. This was the first House debate under a new rule that makes it harder to amend budget bills. The rule, known as “pay as you go,” was approved yesterday (MON). It requires that any spending increase proposed on the House floor be matched by an equal spending cut. An amendment to...

Stephen Koranda Monday, February 7th, 2011

Governor Sam Brownback has signed an executive order that would eliminate the Kansas Arts Commission. It would be replaced with an organization known as the Kansas Arts Foundation. KPR’s Stephen Koranda tells us what the change would mean.

Stephen Koranda Monday, February 7th, 2011

Governor Sam Brownback today (MON) signed an executive order to abolish the Kansas Arts Commission and replace it with the Kansas Arts Foundation. The Arts Commission is a state agency, while the Arts Foundation would be a non-profit organization responsible for raising most of its funding through private donations. Brownback says the move would save the state around 600 thousand dollars next fiscal year. He believes the arts in Kansas will continue to grow under the new organization.Opponents of the move say the state will lose more than one million dollars in federal matching funds if the...

KPR Web Operations Monday, February 7th, 2011

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Bryan Thompson Monday, February 7th, 2011

The Kansas House may vote this week on a constitutional amendment aimed at blocking parts of the federal health overhaul law. If it passes the House, it appears headed for a cool reception in the Senate. More from Jim McLean of the KHI News Service.

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