Statehouse Live

NAMI report says Medicaid expansion would help thousands of Kansans living with mental illness

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — More than 21,000 uninsured Kansans with mental illness would receive needed treatment, and lives would be saved if Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas Legislature expanded Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act, a new report says. So far, Brownback, a vocal opponent of the ACA, and his ...

Kansans paying 2nd highest state sales tax in nation on groceries

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — In all the furor over various tax proposals in the Legislature, one that has caught the attention of some legislators is reducing the state sales tax on groceries. People who buy their groceries in Kansas are paying the second-highest state sales tax in the nation on groceries. According ...

GOP tax plans would increase taxes on low-wage Kansans, decrease taxes for high-income Kansans, report says

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — Taxes will increase for low-wage Kansans and decrease for those with higher incomes under plans being considered by Republican state legislators, according to a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy looked at the various proposals before the Legislature that essentially increase the state ...

Senate, House dealing on tax and budget issues as wrap-up session continues

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — Senate Republicans on Wednesday proposed a 6.25 percent state sales tax rate and a 5.7 percent rate on food. http://www2.ljworld.com/users/photos/2013/may/22/255850/ http://www2.ljworld.com/users/photos/2013/may/22/255851/ House Republican leaders said they would come back later this afternoon to tell the Senate what they thought of the plan. The current state sales tax is ...

FreedomWorks urges Legislature to reject Common Core reading and math standards

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — The Tea-party affiliated FreedomWorks is urging Kansas legislators to reject Common Core reading and math standards. "Help us protect Kansan students from Common Core," Whitney Neal, director of grassroots for FreedomWorks, said in a note to the group's members. "Let’s fight to keep parents, teachers, and local communities ...

As Legislature remains deadlocked, Brownback in Chicago touting tax cuts

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — As the Kansas Legislature remained deadlocked over taxes and spending, Gov. Sam Brownback is speaking today at a $40-a-ticket luncheon in Chicago before the Illinois Policy Institute. The event has been titled "There's no place like home. A conversation with Kansas Governor Sam Brownback." The information about the ...

U.S. Ag Secretary Vilsack would like to see congressional approval of farm bill, immigration reform

Scott Rothschild

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday urged Congress to approve a proposed farm bill, saying he hoped a bipartisan deal on agriculture would create momentum to also pass immigration reform and a long-term deficit reduction plan. "It's like turning a wheel," Vilsack said in a telephone interview with the ...

Organized labor calls current Legislature one of the worst

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — Labor officials are not happy with the Kansas Legislature. Citing a recent report that lists Kansas as one of the nation's 10 most deadly states in workplace safety, labor officials said Wednesday the 2013 Legislature will be remembered as one of the most anti-worker legislatures ever. "Far too ...

Former Senate president mentioned as challenger to Brownback says he's not running

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — A possible election challenge to Gov. Sam Brownback by former Senate President Steve Morris has been batted around the Twitterverse recently. Contacted by phone, Morris, a Republican from Hugoton, said he has no plans to run for governor in 2014, but he added, "In this business, you never ...

Leaders plan talks as legislative session grinds on

Scott Rothschild

Topeka — The legislative wrap-up session entered its second week and the major items have yet to be wrapped up. Gov. Sam Brownback, Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, and House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, planned to meet Monday to discuss taxes, but for rest of the Legislature there's not much ...

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