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Statehouse Live

Sale tax issue front and center as Legislature convenes today

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — As legislators gather today for the start of the 2013 session, one of the main budget issues is whether to make permanent the 6.3 percent state sales tax, which under current law is set to fall to 5.7 percent on July 1. Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, has ...

Gov. Brownback sets up Humanitarian Commission

Scott Rothschild

Gov. Sam Brownback announced Tuesday he has formed the Kansas Humanitarian Commission, which will recognize Kansans and Kansas groups for their global and local charitable efforts. Brownback has asked Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer and Ashleigh Black to co-chair the commission. Colyer, a physician, has volunteered for more than 20 years ...

Pre-filed bill would retain third-graders with reading problems

Scott Rothschild

A state legislator has pre-filed a bill that would retain students in third grade if they score less than proficient on state reading tests. The measure by Rep. Steve Huebert, R-Valley Center, will be considered by legislators when the 2013 session starts Monday. House Bill 2004 includes exceptions for mandatory ...

Kansas population grows 1.1 percent from April 2010 to July 2012

Scott Rothschild

Recently released U.S. Census data shows Kansas' population grew by 32,789, or 1.1 percent, from April 1, 2010, to July 1, 2012. During the same period, Colorado grew by 3.1 percent; Missouri, 0.6 percent; Nebraska, 1.6 percent; and Oklahoma, 1.7 percent. Kansas ranks 33rd among states in U.S. population with ...

Governor steps up to the scale and issues weight loss challenge

Scott Rothschild

Vowing to reduce the size of the state's waistline, Gov. Sam Brownback on Monday launched a weight loss challenge. "We have a problem in America with obesity and gluttony," Brownback said. http://www2.ljworld.com/users/photos/2013/jan/07/247352/ Five-member teams were invited to weigh-in through Jan. 15 and eat healthier and become more active. The state ...

First phase of Hurricane Sandy assistance approved in U.S. House; all four Kansas representatives vote no

Scott Rothschild

The U.S. House just approved the first installment of emergency disaster assistance for victims of Hurricane Sandy. The measure passed with bipartisan support, 161 Republicans and 193 Democrats, for a total of 354 votes for the bill, and 67 votes, all Republican, against it. All four Kansas representatives — Lynn ...

Huelskamp and his iPad in middle of revolt against Boehner

Scott Rothschild

U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, and his iPad were in the middle of a revolt against House Speaker John Boehner that almost threw the election for speaker to a second ballot. Here is a link to POLITICO's story: http://politi.co/ULaXTJ

Obamacare exchange partnerships approved in several Republican-led states

Scott Rothschild

Obamacare health insurance exchanges have been approved in four GOP-led states. In Kansas, Gov. Sam Brownback rejected partnering with the federal government to set up the web-based insurance marketplaces, saying the Affordable Care Act was an overreach by the federal government. But in Idaho, a spokesman for Republican Gov. C.L. ...

Norquist coming to Kansas to talk about immigration

Scott Rothschild

Anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist is coming to Kansas at the behest of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce to oppose "restrictionist" policies on immigration reform. "We are bringing Mr. Norquist to Kansas so legislators can hear what real immigration reform should look like," said Mike O'Neal, president and chief executive officer ...

Bill averting fiscal cliff includes one-year extension of wind energy tax credit

Scott Rothschild

Supporters of wind energy cheered final passage in Congress of the bill to avert the "fiscal cliff." The bill included a one-year extension of the wind energy Production Tax Credit for projects that start construction this year. This statement came from the American Wind Energy Association: "America's 75,000 workers in ...

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