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6 consecutive months of missed tax collections in Kansas…and other headlines: November 2, 2016

andy lambertNovember 2, 2016
Kansas collected nearly $13 million less in taxes than anticipated in October. The latest report comes a week before an election determines whether voter discontent with Governor Brownback will cost his fellow Republicans seats in the Legislature. The state Department of Revenue’s report marked the sixth consecutive month of lower-than-expected tax collections. The governor calls it another sign of a “rural recession.”
A monthly survey of business leaders in nine states including Kansas suggests the regional economy will keep slowing down because of weakness in the manufacturing sector. The Mid-America Business Conditions index dropped to 43.8 in October, compared to 45.5 the month before. Anything below 50 suggests a decline. The economist overseeing the survey points to sluggish ag and energy manufacturing.
Kansas Senator Jerry Moran blasts the Affordable Care Act in a press release, claiming “Kansans are part of the one-third of all Americans who have only one insurance carrier available on the health care exchange.” Despite that claim, there are actually two insurers – Medica and affiliates of Blue Cross and Blue Shield – writing Kansas coverage on the exchange in 2017. Open enrollment continues through December 15th for coverage kicking in January 1st.
Governor Sam Brownback joins the effort to kick out a majority of the Kansas Supreme Court’s justices through his PAC, despite saying earlier he would not get involved. The latest campaign finance report for Road Map PAC, formed by Brownback, showed that it donated a total of $65,000 to Kansans for Life in September and October. Brownback says the donation was intended to show his support for the anti-abortion movement, not the effort to oust the court justices.
A man in Wyandotte County claims in a lawsuit that police fatally shot his unarmed brother. Relatives had warned that the brother was suicidal and trying to bait officers. The suit argues police were “reckless and careless” in that shooting in Ottawa two years ago.

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