Category Archives: Government

U.S. Hwy. 54 Closed Near Eureka Because of Tornado Damage

EMERGENCY RESPONSE UNDERWAY IN EUREKA

Search and rescue efforts continue in Eureka and local officials are conducting damage assessments following tornado damage last evening.

Westar crews have arrived in Eureka and will be cutting power while working towards restoration.  They are working diligently to restore power.

The Kansas Department of Transportation has closed Highway 54 from mile marker 287 to mile marker 266 and will be manning the detour.

Two KDEM Public Assistance representatives and one Kansas Department of Health and Environment representative arrived in Eureka to start debris damage assessment.

Search and Rescue teams are on-site and are assisting local authorities.

The American Red Cross is asking anyone affected by the tornado to register at their Safe and Well website at https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.  The Safe and Well website can also be used to check on family members in the affected area.

A tornado struck the community of Eureka in Greenwood County at approximately 7:31 p.m., June 26.  Search and rescue efforts are underway and local officials are conducting damage assessments.

Gov. Jeff Colyer declared a State of Disaster Emergency proclamation at 8:33 p.m. Greenwood County declared a state of local disaster. The State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka was activated to coordinate the response of state agencies. Personnel from the Kansas Division of Emergency Management are in contact with Greenwood County emergency management officials to respond to requests for assistance.

The American Red Cross has opened a shelter for displaced residents at the Methodist Church, 521 N. Main Street in Eureka.

The Kansas Highway Patrol was on the scene and providing security and manning roadblocks.

Last night there were are approximately 5,700 Westar Energy customers that are without power.

State agencies that are represented in the State Emergency Operations Center include the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, the Kansas National Guard, Kansas Department of Transportation, Kansas Highway Patrol, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Fire Marshal and Department of Children and Family Services

.The Kansas Division of Emergency Management (KDEM), a division of The Adjutant General’s Department, is asking all concerned citizens wishing to assist with rescue and recovery efforts in Eureka to please stay home until asked.

 

 

Supreme Court Rules on Free Speech and Abortion

Governor Jeff Colyer Issues Statement in Response to Today’s Supreme Court Ruling on Free Speech and Abortion

“I was both thankful and encouraged to see today’s ruling by the United States Supreme Court in favor of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, which struck down an unconscionable law that had forced pro-life pregnancy centers to assist in the promotion of abortion. This ruling serves as an important reaffirmation of religious freedom, and I am hopeful that the court will continue to rule in favor of freedom of conscience and uphold the 1st Amendment.”

 

The Bourbon County Commission Agenda June 26

Agenda

Bourbon County Commission Room

2nd Floor, County Courthouse

210 S. National Avenue

Fort Scott, KS 66701

Tuesdays starting at 9:00

Date: June 26, 2018

1st District-Lynne Oharah Minutes: Approved: ____________

2nd District-Jeff Fischer Corrected: _______________

3rd District-Nick Ruhl Adjourned at: _______________

County Clerk-Kendell Mason

9:00- 9:30 Jim Harris

9:30-9:45 Open Hay bids

10:00-10:15 Open Trash bids

10:30-10:45 Clint Anderson

11:00-11:20 Justin Meeks- Executive Session privileged in the attorney/client relationship

11:20-11:22 Justin Meeks- Walking trail

11:22-11:27 Justin Meeks- Update on NRP

11:27-11:32 Justin Meeks- Handbook

12:00-1:30 Commissioners gone to Lunch

1:30-1:45 SEKMH 2019 Budget

2:00-2:30 State Health Plan- Conference call

2:45-3:00 Mary Pemberton- KORA 224-9654

3:00-3:15 Will Wallis- 2019 Emergency Management Budget

Justifications for Executive Session:

Personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel

Consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship

Matters relating to employer-employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the representative(s) of the body or agency

Confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships

Preliminary discussions relating to the acquisition of real property

Matters relating to the security of a public body or agency, public building or facility or the information system of a public body or agency, if the discussion of such matters at an open meeting would jeopardize the security of such public body, agency, building, facility or information system

The Agenda for the Bourbon County Commission

Agenda

Bourbon County Commission Room

2nd Floor, County Courthouse

210 S. National Avenue

Fort Scott, KS 66701

Tuesdays starting at 9:00

 

1st District-Lynne Oharah Minutes: Approved: ____________

2nd District-Jeff Fischer Corrected: _______________

3rd District-Nick Ruhl Adjourned at: _______________

County Clerk-Kendell Mason

9:00- 9:15 George Collinge- Eagle Road project

9:45-10:00 Fence viewing decision between Cutler and Coyan

11: 00- 11:10 Justin Meeks- budget concern and possible action item with County Appraisers office

11:10-11:25 Justin Meeks- Executive Session attorney/client relationship

12:00- 1:30 Commissioners gone to Lunch

1:30- 1:50 Justin Meeks- meeting about old jail/ Data Center

1:50-2:20 Justin Meeks- update on NRP/Meeting times/Resolution

2:30 Employee Handbook

Justifications for Executive Session:

Personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel

Consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship

Matters relating to employer-employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the representative(s) of the body or agency

Confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships

Preliminary discussions relating to the acquisition of real property

Matters relating to the security of a public body or agency, public building or facility or the information system of a public body or agency, if the discussion of such matters at an open meeting would jeopardize the security of such public body, agency, building, facility or information system

Online Sales Tax Being Considered In Kansas

Senator Richard Hilderbrand, Republican, Senator from Galena, can be contacted by email richard.hilderbrand@senate.ks.gov or cell phone 417.529.3262 .

The United State Supreme Court ruled recently ruled that states can now collect online sales tax from out-of-state vendors, according to a press release from Richard Hilderbrand (R-Galena).

“Before the Kansas Legislature moves forward, we must look closely to see how this will impact hardworking Kansans,” Hilderbrand said.

“The Supreme Court opinion on online sales taxes would work like this,” he said. ” Any taxing entity in the U.S; can now collect sales tax from any business that sells online to a customer that resides in their taxing jurisdiction.”

“This will put a huge burden on small businesses that currently sell online,” Hilderbrand said. “They will now have to answer to thousands of taxing entities. They will have to know what each sales tax rate is, and will also be subject to audits from those taxing entities.”

“Because this is an interstate commerce issue, it will be up to our U.S. Congress, and U.S. Senate to address this situation,” Hilderbrand said. “The state will have to decide on whether or not to start collecting taxes on out of state businesses that sell online to Kansas citizens. If the state decides to start collecting that sales tax, it will be another tax increase on Kansas citizens.”

“We cannot place another tax hike onto Kansas taxpayers for the third year in a row.  An implementation of online sales tax must be coupled with a decrease in the overall sales tax rate. It is an embarrassment that Kansans pay some of the highest sales taxes in the Midwest. Our first priority should be to ease the financial burden on families by making Kansas a more affordable state,” according to the press release.”

“In 2017, the legislators passed a $1.2 billion retroactive income tax increase on the citizens of Kansas,” Hilderbrand said. “In 2018. the legislators failed to pass a tax-reform bill that would have allowed the citizens of Kansas to take advantage of the federal revenue windfall.”
“In failing to pass this legislation a significant number of Kansans, who previously benefited from income tax relief by itemizing deductions on Kansas returns, will no longer be able to do so because they will not be able to itemize at the federal level,” he said.
“The result of not passing this bill, is another income tax increase, specifically on Kansas homeowners who claimed the mortgage interest and property tax deductions in years past,” he said.
“The Senate passed this bill 21-19, but it failed in the house on a 59-59 vote. By not passing this tax-reform bill, it will lead to a tax increase of almost $500 million over the next three years,” Hilderbrand said.
“In 2019 the legislators will now be faced with this U.S. Supreme Court opinion and how it will affect our citizens. There are a lot of legislators that want to collect that extra tax and spend it. If that happens that will make it three years in a row that Kansans’ would have had a tax increase. If we are going to be serious about allowing our business’s in Kansas to be more competitive with our neighboring states, we cannot continue to be the highest sales tax state in the midwest.”

“The sales tax rate must be lowered so Kansans can keep more of their money in their pockets instead of being forced to send more and more money to Topeka,” Hilderbrand said.

 

Medicaid Program Awards Health Care Organizations

State of Kansas Awards Medicaid Contracts to Three Managed Care Companies

Aetna welcomed as new KanCare MCO, Sunflower and United continue service

 

TOPEKA –  Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Secretary Jeff Andersen and State Medicaid Director Jon Hamdorf are pleased to announce the selection of three managed care organizations (MCOs) that will serve the Kansas Medicaid program, known as KanCare. The contracts include one new organization and two current KanCare companies.

 

The companies include:

  • Sunflower State Health Plan, Inc.
  • United Healthcare, Midwest Inc.
  • Aetna Better Health of Kansas, Inc.

 

The MCOs were selected from a pool of six candidates, which submitted bids during a Request for Proposal (RFP) process that concluded yesterday, June 21, when the winning bidders signed their contracts with the State of Kansas, through the Kansas Department of Administration.

 

“We appreciate the tremendous feedback we have received every step of the way as the contract language was developed,” Secretary Andersen said. “We took into consideration the concerns we received from KanCare consumers, advocacy groups, legislators and other stakeholders. We strive to provide Kansans with a cost-effective and dependable Medicaid program that serves their needs, and the new contracts will further that objective.”

 

Some of the key improvements in the new contracts include:

  • Greater oversight and accountability
  • Improved response to consumer needs
  • Enhanced care coordination
  • Supported employment pilot for persons with disabilities and behavioral health needs
  • New value-added benefits

Adult dental services will continue.

 

A multi-step process preceded the 17-member review committee’s evaluation of the six RFP bids. Committee members consisted of KDHE and Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) staff members with experience and knowledge working with the Kansas Medicaid system. The evaluations considered cost and technical capabilities to perform the work outlined. A recommendation was then made to Secretary Andersen, who approved and then forwarded the recommendation to the procurement negotiating committee (PNC) and the Department of Administration for review and approval. Based on that process, the PNC then awarded the contracts.

 

“KanCare has proven an effective and efficient delivery model for Medicaid in Kansas,” said Governor Jeff Colyer. “We have achieved cost savings, but more importantly, we’ve seen greater preventative care access to improve health outcomes for Kansans.”

 

Consumers currently enrolled in Amerigroup will have the opportunity to select a new MCO during the open enrollment period, beginning in October. Amerigroup will continue to serve as a KanCare MCO through the duration of the existing contract, which is set to expire on Dec. 31.

 

“These new KanCare contracts will provide Medicaid waiver consumers with enhanced, comprehensive care and services,” said KDADS Secretary Tim Keck. “We are looking forward to offering them improved care coordination and more work opportunities that will encourage them to grow and thrive while living in their home communities.”

 

For more information about KanCare, visit www.kancare.ks.gov. For evaluation results and the finalized contracts, visit http://admin.ks.gov/offices/procurement-and-contracts/kancare-award. Consumers who have questions about this change can call 785-766-9012.

Flags Half-Staff For Fallen Deputies

Governor Colyer Orders Flags to be Flown at Half-staff in Honor of Fallen Deputies

Topeka – In accordance with Executive Order 10-12, Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff state-wide from sun-up until sun-down on Thursday, June 21, 2018, in honor of Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Deputies Theresa “TK” King and Patrick Rohrer who were killed in the line of duty last week.

“These two brave individuals lost their lives protecting the public and we owe them a deep debt of gratitude for their selfless service,” said the Governor. “We pray for their loved ones, as well as all law enforcement officers as we mourn this senseless tragedy.”

A joint funeral will be held for King and Rohrer at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City on Thursday.

To receive email alerts when the Governor orders flags to half-staff, please visit https://governor.kansas.gov/newsroom/kansas-flag-honors/ to subscribe.