Two new Republican leaders in the state legislature want to move quickly to repeal an income tax break for more than 330,000 farmers and business owners. The tax break was championed by Governor Brownback and passed by lawmakers in 2012. It has been a major contributor to the state’s budget problems over the past four years, and legislators expect repealing it will bring in about $260 million a year.
The state’s biggest electric utility steps up the use of drones. Westar Energy says its using more of those in hopes of working faster, saving money and improving safety for its employees. The company sends drones to inspect equipment, navigate remote areas and manage some emergency situations.
The Kansas Supreme Court will hear arguments in a lawsuit involving a southeast Kansas casino. Oral arguments in the lawsuit over the Kansas Crossing Casino are scheduled to be held before the state Supreme Court on January 25. The casino won the Southeast Zone license from the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission two years ago. Cherokee County and investors in competitor Castle Rock Casino sued, claiming the gaming board didn’t follow state law when it chose Kansas Crossing for the license.
One person is dead, two more hurt after a crash in Harper Country. A driver from Wichita crossed the center line and collided head-on with another vehicle. The two people in that car are in the hospital, while the driver believed to have caused the crash died. He didn’t have a seat belt on at the time.
A Salina woman leaves more than $300,000 to a river festival. She died in March, three years after being diagnosed with cancer, and left a $321,975 donation from her trust fund to the Smoky Hill River Festival. The gift was announced at the Greater Salina Community Foundation. That woman had lived in Salina since 1986, worked for Brown Welding Supply as a staff accountant and payroll clerk.