State legislative update…and other headlines: May 3, 2017

State legislators draft a new, bigger plan for raising income taxes to fix the Kansas budget after top Republicans abruptly dropped the one that had been agreed upon Monday. House and Senate negotiators agreed on a plan to raise more than $1 billion over two years by rolling back the income tax cuts championed by Governor Brownback. The package that was dropped was smaller, raising about $879 million in two years.
Kansas lawmakers who want to keep concealed guns out of state hospitals haven’t settled on a path forward, but they’ve likely ruled out spending $24 million to secure the buildings. Spending committees in the House and Senate have decided they won’t include the governor’s proposal that the state pay for metal detectors and armed guards at state hospitals for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled.
Lawmakers are expressing concerns that the state still has millions of dollars in unused IT equipment that was bought before a cloud computing plan was scrapped. A bipartisan group of lawmakers asked to look at the equipment while touring the Docking office building. It’s unclear what the legislators had in mind for the gear.
An update on the state’s wheat crop is due by the end of the week. There’s quite a bit of interest in that after the winter storm system that brought 17 inches of snow in some areas. Some farmers are reporting much of their wheat was either damaged or killed by the weight of the snow. Ag analysts and industry experts are surveying the crop in hundreds of fields across the western half of Kansas.
Two men from North Carolina face charges after a drug bust on I-70 in Geary County. The two are due in court later in the week. They’re charged with Posession of both Narcotics and Drug Paraphernalia.

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