Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Whistleblower alleges serious fraud, abuse at state agency

A whistleblower complaint by a former Kansas Division of Emergency Management (KDEM) employee alleges serious misconduct by the division management. The whistleblower, Jackie Craine, a former branch director of grant management for KDEM, and previous internal...

COVID mortality rate hits new low, Kelly imposes mask mandate

The COVID mortality rate in Kansas fell to a record-low 1.9% statewide, and the rate outside of state-identified clusters also set a new low of 0.9% on Monday.  On the same day, Governor Laura...

Gov. Kelly’s budget plan creates $1.5 billion deficit in 2022

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced budget changes last week that she said would close a $653 million deficit in the 2021 fiscal year starting July 1. The Sentinel reported that most of those changes...

Media crucified Brownback, but glosses over Kelly’s budget tricks

When Republican Governor Sam Brownback used budget tricks to avoiding spending cuts, media pounded him on the front page and in editorials.  But they give Democrat Governor Laura Kelly a pass when she does...

Michigan decision rejects county’s ‘Dark Store’ appraisal theory

For years, Johnson County, and others, have -- illegally, according to courts -- been attempting to use a different method to calculate property tax values for so-called big-box stores, and falsely claiming stores want...

107,000 fewer private jobs since February, state loses 200

Editor's note: this story was revised on June 23 to reflect Oklahoma as being a locked-down state; we regret the error. Employment data released today for May by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows Kansas...

Kansas stalls while Texas acts on Supreme Court Janus decision

While Kansas still hasn't reacted to the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court Janus decision, Texas is making it clear that public employees should not be charged union dues without their consent. The Janus decision was about...

KPI calls on Kelly to use COVID stimulus funding for property tax relief

Kansas Policy Institute today asked Governor Laura Kelly to follow the lead of Idaho Governor Brad Little, who is leveraging federal COVID-19 stimulus funding to provide much-needed property tax relief to beleaguered taxpayers in...

Cities, counties use your money to fight property tax relief

City and county officials often justify tax increases as being necessary to provide services demanded by residents.  But if they oppose a service you want (like property tax relief), they use your money to...

Overland Park proposes 6% property tax increase

The City of Overland Park is proposing a 6.2% property tax hike next year, according to their proposed 2021 budget.  The increase is all attributable to valuation increases, as city officials don't plan to...