Daily Archives: Aug. 10, 2010

Brownback: reduce taxes and regulation for business

Sen. Sam Brownback discusses economic road map

Sen. Sam Brownback discusses economic road map

Sen. Sam Brownback today promised lower taxes and reduced regulation for business if he is elected governor.

He said he plans to create an “office of the repealer” to target outdated or ineffective regulations.

He also said he will create a citizen advisory panel to recommend deletion of state laws and regulations.

Brownback vowed to continue the now 10-year fight to win Boeing a contract to build the next generation of Air Force tanker planes.

He said he plans to pursue allegations that the government of Brazil is violating international trade agreements by subsidizing Brazillian planemaker Embraer.

The economic provisions are part of the first of several major policy statements Brownback will be issuing as part of his campaign “Road Map for Kansas.”

Invest in mental health services, speakers urge Sedgwick County

Adding a mental health pod at the Sedgwick County jail would be a good use of taxpayer dollars, speakers urged commissioners Tuesday during a public hearing about next year’s budget.

Sheriff Robert Hinshaw has pushed for such an area of the jail, saying it makes more sense to house inmates with mental illnesses together to concentrate on treatment.

Such inmates often cause the most problems in jail, so better addressing their care makes sense, Hinshaw has said.

Gerry Lichti, president of the Wichita chapter of the National Association on Mental Illness, advocated the county invest in mental health services.

County manager William Buchanan’s proposed budget for next year includes money for addressing mental illnesses among inmates. It does not specifically call for a mental health pod, but that is one of the options if commissioners approve the funding.

A consumer of mental health care told commissioners that people with mental illnesses do better in a calm atmosphere, which a pod would help facilitate.

Commissioners will vote Wednesday on the budget. Their meeting begins at 9 a.m. in their chambers on the third floor of the courthouse, 525 N. Main.

Speakers urge Sedgwick County to forgo raises

Sedgwick County’s proposed budget for next year includes a 4 percent pool for employee raises.

However, county manager William Buchanan has recommended that commissioners wait until later this year to determine whether to award pay increases, and if so, how much. That will allow the county to respond accordingly to the economy, he has said.

This year, county employees making more than $75,000 did not receive a pay increase. Those making less than $75,000 received a 2 percent across-the-board raise. Commissioners, who make just less than $84,000, did not receive a raise.

Sedgwick County resident Charles Peaster urged commissioners not to hand out raises in uncertain economic times. Peaster shared that his family has struggled with health care. His wife, he said, currently does not have health care coverage and won’t until she is eligible for Medicare. He and his wife live on a set income, he said, and they haven’t received a raise.

City, county budget hearings at same time raise questions

This morning city and county leaders are hearing from the public about next year’s budgets. The hearings are taking place at the same time, which a speaker at the county’s meeting said was unfortunate.

Max Weddle, who follows local government closely, said he would have liked to have spoken at both hearings but couldn’t because of the timing.

The Wichita City Council is scheduled to vote on the city’s 2011 budget today. The county commission won’t vote until tomorrow.

County commission chairman Karl Peterjohn said he wanted the county’s last public hearing to be today to give he and his colleagues time to consider the public’s comments before voting.