Topeka, Kan. – There are now two Democrats and two Republicans running for Kansas Secretary of State. The most recent to announce are already serving in state government.
Democratic State Senator Chris Steineger of Kansas City, Kansas said today he intends to file as an official candidate next week. He appointed a treasurer this week, allowing him to raise funds. Kansas Securities Commissioner Chris Biggs chose a treasurer last fall and says he expects to file in coming months.
Jefferson City, Mo. – Republican leaders in the Missouri House and Senate returned to their party's traditional themes, after talking up ethics and the economy on the legislature's opening day last week.
Led by Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, GOP leaders pledged first and foremost not to raise taxes this year.
"Taking more money from Missouri families is not a sensible solution to fix whatever budget problems we face today," said Kinder.
Topeka, Kan. – Kansas lawmakers from both parties have registered expected reactions to the governor's proposals to hike sales taxes and cigarette taxes. Now many are conceding there is a need for tax increases of some kind.
Kansas City, Kan. – When the Kansas governor gives his State of the State address this evening he will outline proposals to balance the budget with a shortfall nearing $400 million in the next fiscal year. Tobacco taxes are expected to be on the agenda.
Governor Mark Parkinson has already said he would ask lawmakers to raise the tax, now at 79 cents a pack. The national average is a dollar 34. Aides will not suggest the governor's exact proposal.
Kansas City – Springfield Representative Sara Lampe introduced highway-naming legislation today in an ongoing effort to counter the publicity a regional Nazi group has received for cleaning up the highway.
Representative Lampe introduced House Bill 1668 today in Jefferson City. The bill has 76 cosigners from both parties, and will name a stretch of Highway 160 after Jewish historian and Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal.
Jefferson City, Mo. – If you pay personal income tax in Missouri chances are you're in the top tax bracket. It takes only $9000 in taxable income a year to reach the state's top tier. State lawmakers set the tax brackets back in 1931 and they haven't changed since. Now some say Missouri's tax system is due for an update; both to address the basic issue of fairness and a growing budget hole in Jefferson City.
Kansas City, Mo. – If you live or work in Kansas City, Missouri a 1% earnings tax takes a bite out of your paycheck. The tax has been around for over forty years. But a petition will soon begin circulating around the state, to bring the "e-tax" before all Missouri voters, and possibility outlaw Kansas City, and St. Louis from collecting that type of tax.