Brownback proposes expenditure reduction of $72 million

Gov. Sam Brownback submitted a budget amendment to the Legislature on Thursday to reduce state general fund expenditures by $72 million and ease the burden of producing balanced budgets in the next two fiscal years.

The recommendation to members of the House Appropriations Committee was in response to a bleak revenue analysis demonstrating lawmakers had to close a $400 million revenue shortfall for the fiscal year starting July 1.

Tax collections to Kansas’ treasury collapsed in accordance with major business and individual income tax reductions approved by Brownback and Republican legislators in 2012 and 2013. A state economist estimated the state would have $1 billion in extra revenue in the next fiscal year if the tax reform bills hadn’t been adopted.

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Big part of Brownback’s budget plan is in trouble

By John Hana
Associated Press

An $80 million piece of Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan for balancing Kansas’ next budget is in trouble because a major health insurance company opposes it.

“The bill overall is in trouble,” House Insurance Committee Chairman Scott Schwab, an Olathe Republican, said Wednesday. “He’s going to have to come up with a different proposal.”

The proposal would increase a fee paid by HMOs to 5.5 percent from 1 percent. The state would use the new revenues to capture additional federal funds for its Medicaid program, which provides health coverage to about 368,000 needy and disabled residents. Continue reading

Olathe PD tactical training exercise

by Paul Wilson
At about 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22, the Olathe Police Department’s Special Tactical Unit performed a training mission at 1302 Winterbrooke. The home is one of many along the creek the city agreed to purchase as a result of years of flooding and, eventually, the planned re-engineering of the creek to prevent future damage.
There were two staged events, the first being a hostage standoff. A command center was established in the parking lot of College Church of the Nazarene from where officers and armored vehicles were dispatched.
Details of the second staged event were less clear, but it easily could be heard there were intense pleas via bullhorn from an MRAP parked in the yard directed at the suspect in the house asking him to call a phone number and continue talking to authorities. It also involved a robot entering the home through the front door, to remotely determine the situation inside the home.
The event ended up being street side entertainment for neighbors, passers by and one man, a retired Marine, who brought is grandson to see it as an outing.
The exercise was completed around 4 and site clean up began.
When the training exercise was finished, the house was boarded up to wait for demolition to begin. Photo by Paul Wilson

When the training exercise was finished, the house was boarded up to wait for demolition to begin. Photo by Paul Wilson

DUI checkpoint set for this weekend

Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies, will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint in Johnson County the weekend of April 24, 2015.

Drivers suspected of being impaired will be given a brief sobriety test.  If the individual is determined to be impaired, they will be arrested and taken into custody. 

Efforts will be made to not severely impede the flow of traffic in the areas of the checkpoint.  Citizens’ cooperation and patience is appreciated.

Operation Prom Night today at Olathe South

The metro’s oldest high school crash scenario – Olathe’s Operation Prom Night – celebrates its 20th year at 9:45 this morning, April 23, at Olathe South High School, 1640 E. 151st Street; parking lot east of building.

Since 1995, the program has emphasized the importance of responsible driving to high school students with a real-life demonstration using fire trucks, special extrication/rescue equipment, ambulances, police cars and more. Captain Bill Schneider – who started Olathe’s program in 1995 – still coordinates the event. Continue reading

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