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Top Stories Of The Week

Romeo Crennel won the job of Chiefs head coach. The Missouri Supreme Court looked at Congressional redistricting plans. And Governor Sam Brownback's State of the State address was headlined by taxes and economic development. Steve Bell revisits those and other top stories of the week on KCUR's Saturday News Review.

 

Brownback State Of The State Proposals

Governor Sam Brownback proposed sweeping changes to Kansas tax laws in his State of the State address, calling his plan “fairer, flatter and simpler.” The governor would lower income taxes in the bottom bracket by 14 percent – and in higher income brackets by around 30 percent. But the plan would also eliminate many deductions, including those for home mortgage interest and charitable contributions. He would also make the current sales tax increase permanent.

House Democrat Paul Davis commented that he feared the plan would increase the burden on working Kansans and the poor, while favoring the well-to-do.

Brownback expressed it differently, saying the goal is to stimulate the economy by leaving business owners more after-tax money.

The governor also proposed a new school funding plan and a big program to boost vo-tech education, and he would restore about half of what he cut from the arts last year – kind-of. Budget Director Steve Anderson says grants from the $200,000 in restored funds would be available for arts programs, but only for ones that create economic development. The plan would also merge the arts and film commissions.

 

Missouri Legislature Proposals

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon doesn't give his State of the State speech until this coming Tuesday, but Republicans in the legislature were cranking out proposals he will disagree with. One would make it harder to sue for discriminatory firing. Another would make big cuts to the workers' comp program. Another bill that cleared committee would limit Missouri spending growth to inflation plus population growth. Still another would block Governor Nixon from creating a health insurance exchange.

 

Missouri High Court Looks At Redistricting

The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments for and against the new Congressional Redistricting map. Gerry Greiman argued for plaintiffs that are upset with the new boundaries of Emanuel Cleaver's district, questioning the common interests of the urban and rural residents in the new boundaries. No ruling is expected for several weeks.

 

Crennel Wins Chiefs Job

A lot of the players and fans got their way when Romeo Crennel won the job of head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. General Manager Scott Pioli said, though, that it wasn't a popularity contest – that the team had played better under Crennel. Crennel says he will also continue to call the plays on the Cheifs' defense.

 

School Districts Dispute On Hold

A Jackson County judge said any ruling on obligations and financial arrangements for five complaining districts and the now unaccredited Kansas City school district probably won't come till the first of March. The Kansas City district said so far only about fifty students want to transfer out to neighboring districts.

 

Immigration Fraud Indictments

Fourteen people in a St. Joseph license office were indicted on charges of providing fraudulent documentation to 3500 undocumented aliens.

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