Kansas Department of Commerce Announces Finalists for Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award

Topeka, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Commerce is announcing the finalists for the Governor’s Exporter of the Year award. The winner will be announced on June 4th at an Awards Presentations Banquet.

The following three companies are the finalists for the Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award:

 

Cargill Protein

Headquartered in Wichita, Kan., Cargill Protein North America is an industry leader that produces, distributes and markets beef, turkey, chicken, and egg products to retail, food-service, and food ingredient companies throughout North America, and exports meat and by-products around the world.

Cargill Protein North America’s 28,000 employees, and more than three dozen protein processing facilities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, are focused on delivering superior, innovative, products and services to help customers grow their businesses by meeting consumer needs and desires.

 

Pinnacle Technology, Inc.

Pinnacle designs, manufactures and sells laboratory research equipment to the preclinical neuroscience market worldwide. Pinnacle offers a range of turn-key systems for brain research and is committed to developing new tools that simplify measurement, reduce cost and enable new research. In addition, Pinnacle offers a host of supporting products ranging from cages to software analysis suites.  Exceptional customer service and forging collaborative relationships with clients is the foundation for Pinnacle’s success.

 

Primary Color Music

Primary Color Music is a team of music-lovers who are dedicated to crafting the perfect song and sound for visual media.
Building off his father’s legacy as a jingle-writer and his own experience as a musician, Sam Billen founded PCM in 2013. Later joined by brother Dan Billen and recording artist Ryan Pinkston, PCM has since grown into an international team with on-the-ground representation in both the United States and Japan.
The PCM team brings an ad industry background together with a creative practice, as composers/producers, allowing them to develop projects from concept to delivery. They have created music for leading global brands such as Coca Cola, Nike, Honda, and Google and have worked on a total of over 600 projects worldwide.

AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. to Announce First Quarter 2019 Results and Host Earnings Conference Call

LEAWOOD, Kan.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AMC) (“AMC” or “the Company”), the largest theatrical exhibition company in the U.S., in Europe and in the world, and an industry leader in innovation, announced today that it will report its results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019, before the market opens on Thursday, May 9, 2019.

The Company will host a conference call via webcast for investors and other interested parties beginning at 7:30 a.m. CDT/8:30 a.m. EDT on Thursday, May 9, 2019. To listen to the conference call via the internet, please visit the investor relations section of the AMC website at www.investor.amctheatres.com for a link to the webcast. Investors and interested parties should go to the website at least 15 minutes prior to the call to register, and/or download and install any necessary audio software.

  • Date: Thursday, May 9, 2019
  • Time: 7:30 a.m. CDT/8:30 a.m. EDT
  • Dial-In Number: (877) 407-3982; International – (201) 493-6780

An archive of the webcast will be available on the Company’s website after the call for a limited time.

About AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc.

AMC is the largest movie exhibition company in the United States, the largest in Europe and the largest throughout the world with more than 1,000 theatres and more than 11,000 screens across the globe. AMC has propelled innovation in the exhibition industry by: deploying its Signature power-recliner seats; delivering enhanced food and beverage choices; generating greater guest engagement through its loyalty and subscription programs, web site and mobile apps; offering premium large format experiences and playing a wide variety of content including the latest Hollywood releases and independent programming. AMC operates among the most productive theatres in the United States’ top markets, having the #1 or #2 market share positions in 21 of the 25 largest metropolitan areas of the United States. AMC is also #1 or #2 in market share in 12 of the 15 countries it serves in North America, Europe, and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.amctheatres.com.

Website Information

This press release, along with other news about AMC, is available at www.amctheatres.com. We routinely post information that may be important to investors in the Investor Relations section of our website, www.investor.amctheatres.com. We use this website as a means of disclosing material, non-public information and for complying with our disclosure obligations under Regulation FD, and we encourage investors to consult that section of our website regularly for important information about AMC. The information contained on, or that may be accessed through, our website is not incorporated by reference into, and is not a part of, this document. Investors interested in automatically receiving news and information when posted to our website can also visit www.investor.amctheatres.com to sign up for email alerts.

Opinion: Puerto Rico Statehood

I have been thinking for months that I needed to open write this letter, to every member of Congress. Sadly, I kept putting it off. Perhaps though it was a matter of timing. On March  28, a couple of members of Congress brought my thoughts before Congress. In a comment on a friend’s Facebook post, I stated my opinion. This two-sentence comment was just a few hours before Representative Darren Soto (D-FL), introduced legislation Thursday to make Puerto Rico the nation’s 51st state. His co-sponsor is the shadow member of Congress from Puerto Rico. She is a “shadow member,” because since she is from a U.S. Territory she cannot vote on the floor of Congress. Each territory has a shadow member, they can vote in committees and cosponsor bills, but they cannot cast an actual vote in Congress. Which is part of the crux of the issue! Puerto Rico residents are U. S. Citizens but they have no true representation in Congress.

Furthermore, the residents can vote in presidential primaries, but they cannot vote in Presidential general elections or even Congressional elections. That simply is not right. It is time to stop treating them like an unwanted stepchild and fully admit them as the 51st state, with the full rights of all other U.S. Citizens. They are U.S. Citizens and should be treated as such. The territory should become the 51st state.

They have voted to be admitted. In fact, there have been four votes for statehood. The most recent in June 2017, in which the residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of.  Let’s stop playing around and get our 51st state, without haste.  After that, I believe our other U.S. territories should become states as well. Those other territories are American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Like Puerto Rico, the residents are U.S. Citizens, but cannot vote in the Federal general elections. It is time to make this right. However, we must start with Puerto Rico, without delay, which has voted in favor of becoming a state.

—-

D. Kevin Surbaugh
1003 9th St
Baldwin City, KS 66006
785-304-4041

Hawver: Kansas Supreme Court Throws a Wrench

What was likely to be a three-day, maybe five-day veto session of the Kansas Legislature got more complicated last week with the Kansas Supreme Court decision that abortion is a right of Kansas women under the state constitution.

Martin Hawver
Martin Hawver

That high court decision which pronounces a woman’s decision to have an abortion a right under the state constitution sends the issue back to Shawnee County District Court for consideration of a bill that outlaws a specific procedure used in more than 90 percent of abortions in Kansas.

Nothing changes immediately. The second-trimester abortion procedure specifically outlawed by the bill remains legal until the specifics of that dilation and evacuation procedure are considered by the district court, and then likely challenged at the Court of Appeals level and then likely by the Kansas Supreme Court. That could take a year or so, but that provides time for the Legislature to try to change the state constitution to prohibit nearly all abortions in Kansas.

It’s a hot-button political scrap that may well dominate the planned short veto session of the Legislature, becoming an issue that will cast a shadow over assembling a budget, considering expansion of Medicaid eligibility, possibly a tax bill, and then getting out of town.

It’s still not clear when the Legislature will consider a resolution to allow voters to determine whether abortion will be banned in Kansas after a fetus is detected, but there are already House and Senate resolutions introduced earlier this year that might just get pulled out of a committee for debate in either chamber. That’ll make the veto session longer—count on it—if either the House or Senate gets the measure to the floor for debate.

And, for you political/procedural junkies, each chamber’s resolutions are strongly, near-emotionally written. If one or the other gains the two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate—the governor doesn’t have a role in the process—that public vote would be taken at the November 2020 general election when every House and Senate seat is on the line.

So, the wrap-up session is going to be emotional, and every decision on the abortion issue is going to be dissected by anti-abortion and abortion-rights legislators, and the lobbying groups which support them.

Delay the issue until next session for debate in an election year? Take fast action this session while the issue which smoldered for four years in courthouses has emerged?

Anti-abortion activists may not be sated by leadership assertions that the issue is too complicated to be thoughtfully dealt with in the few days left this session. Abortion-rights activists have apparently won on the Kansas constitutional issue, but the widely used abortion procedure’s battle in court may influence votes, depending on how it is described both in debate to get it on the ballot and the inevitable campaigning on the issue ahead of a statewide referendum.

Oh, and how lawmakers vote to put—or not put—the constitutional issue before voters will be a hot-button campaign issue in their election or reelection bids.

Yes, it gets complicated, this one issue that the Supreme Court has put into debate, with just a few days left in the session.

***

And, don’t forget those two other issues that the Supreme Court will leave its fingerprints on this year, adequacy of funding for public schools and just who gets to nominate the next judge on the Kansas Court of Appeals to succeed retired judge Patrick McAnany…

All of a sudden, it seems, that black robe gang becomes the focus of the legislative session. It gets complicated when the court and the Legislature interact…

 

By Martin Hawver

Syndicated by Hawver News Company LLC of Topeka; Martin Hawver is publisher of Hawver’s Capitol Report—to learn more about this nonpartisan statewide political news service, visit the website at www.hawvernews.com

Dodge City Brewing Supports Veterans’ Art Therapy Project

When Paula Sellens was elected American Legion Auxiliary District Eight President in 2016, she was charged with developing a President’s Project to benefit veterans. She launched an art therapy program for veterans at Ft. Dodge Soldier’s Home for her project. She obtained funding from an art auction the first year, then received two grants from the Community Foundation of Southwest Kansas to keep pace with the growing popularity of the project.

The initiative received continued support with additional funding from American Legion Department Commander Dan Wiley and the Dodge City Chapter of the Retired Teachers Association. Sellens also received a grant from The American Legion Auxiliary Foundation to purchase additional art equipment.

The art therapy program continues to gain recognition and support. Dodge City Brewing Co. recently sponsored a public showing for some of the Ft. Dodge art projects. Dodge City Brewing made room among its fine craft beers and stone baked pizza for the art display. In addition to providing a location for the event, owners Larry and Sheri Cook made a significant financial contribution. “We heard about Paula’s art therapy classes at Ft. Dodge,” Sheri Cook said. “This was our way to support our patriotic veterans.”

Gannett Sends Open Letter to Shareholders

Unanimously Recommends that Shareholders Vote “FOR ALL” of Gannett’s Eight Experienced, Engaged and Independent Director Nominees on the WHITE Proxy Card

MCLEAN, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) today sent an open letter to shareholders urging shareholders to vote “FOR ALL” of the company’s highly experienced, fully independent director nominees on the WHITE proxy card in connection with Gannett’s 2019 annual meeting of shareholders scheduled to be held on May 16, 2019.

The full text of the letter follows below:

Dear Fellow Shareholder,

At the upcoming Annual Meeting on May 16, 2019, you will make a very important decision regarding the composition of the Gannett board that will shape the future of the company and have a lasting impact on the value of your investment.

In recent weeks, we have appreciated having the opportunity to speak with many of you about our ongoing digital transformation and the progress we are seeing, as well as the efforts by MNG Enterprises, Inc. (“MNG”), a direct competitor of Gannett, and its majority shareholder Alden Global Capital (“Alden”) to take control of the company by installing their own directors, officers, colleagues and friends on the Gannett board – all while touting an unsolicited proposal to buy Gannett that they cannot finance or close. Now, in a last-ditch, desperate effort, MNG has announced that it is reducing the number of candidates that it is nominating for election to Gannett’s eight-member board from six to three.

Importantly, the number of MNG nominees does not matter, as each of the three remaining MNG candidates still has irreconcilable conflicts of interest given each nominee’s close affiliations with MNG and/or Alden, and cannot be expected to act in the best interests of all Gannett shareholders. Further, MNG’s candidates have backgrounds and skillsets that we believe would not be additive to the Gannett board, and, indeed, would reduce the quality of the Gannett board to the detriment of both the company and its shareholders. In contrast, all eight of Gannett’s director nominees are FULLY independent and bring broad and diverse backgrounds, professional experience and skills in areas that are critical to Gannett’s business and future success. We believe that electing even one of MNG’s nominees to the Gannett board would put the value of your investment at risk.

Your vote is very important. We encourage you to protect the value of your investment in Gannett by voting “FOR ALL” of your board’s eight independent nominees on the WHITE proxy card today.

MNG’S CANDIDATES ARE HIGHLY CONFLICTED

All of MNG’s candidates have clear conflicts of interest, which we believe would prevent them from being able to meaningfully fulfill their duties as Gannett directors:

  • Heath Freeman is the president and a founding member of Alden, vice chairman of MNG and chairman of the board of Fred’s, Inc., where he was appointed to the board pursuant to a Cooperation Agreement between Fred’s and Alden.
  • Steven Rossi was CEO of MNG until his retirement in November 2017 and currently serves as a director on the Fred’s board after being appointed to the board pursuant to the same Cooperation Agreement as Mr. Freeman.
  • Dana Goldsmith Needleman is also a director of Fred’s, as well as a family friend of Mr. Freeman. They have known each other for years prior to Ms. Needleman being hand-picked to serve on the Fred’s board, including through business dealings, charitable organizations, a shared alma mater and documented social gatherings. Further, Ms. Needleman’s spouse represented Alden in real estate dealings, and Ms. Needleman made a sizeable personal donation to one of their alma mater’s organizations where Mr. Freeman is chairman of the advisory board. In short, it cannot reasonably be concluded that Ms. Needleman has “no material relationship” with Alden, and she is therefore NOT independent of MNG.

Because of the significant and concerning conflicts of interest resulting from MNG’s candidates’ affiliations with a direct competitor and/or the controlling owner of a direct competitor, MNG’s candidates may face significant restrictions on the company information to which they could have access, meaning they could not benefit from the same information available to Gannett’s independent director nominees and would not be able to participate fully in decisions critical to creating value for our shareholders.

MNG’S CANDIDATES WOULD REDUCE THE QUALITY OF THE GANNETT BOARD

As part of the board’s nomination process this year, the Nominating and Public Responsibility Committee and the full Gannett board reviewed MNG’s six proposed nominees, and unanimously concluded that NONE would bring incremental expertise to the board, and indeed would worsen the quality of the board in terms of skills and experience.

Mr. Freeman, Mr. Rossi, and Ms. Needleman have nearly no public board experience outside of serving together on the board of Fred’s, the Alden-controlled regional pharmacy chain. At Fred’s, they have overseen significant value destruction – with Fred’s stock declining 92% since Alden invested in December 2016, despite Fred’s operating in a steadily growing market.1 Mr. Freeman’s only other public board experience was at Emmis Communications Corp in 2010, where he was appointed not due to his qualifications but instead in connection with an Alden agreement to take Emmis private. He resigned a few months later after Alden pulled out of the deal.

In contrast, all of Gannett’s independent nominees, including the three nominees MNG is seeking to replace, have a wealth of professional experience and expertise critical to Gannett’s operations and digital transformation, including finance, business development and strategic planning, M&A, digital media, journalism, marketing and advertising, technology and human resources. While MNG claims that it wants to focus on Gannett’s publishing business, MNG is now attempting to replace three directors on Gannett’s board, including two distinguished journalists, Stephen Coll, and Larry Kramer, with a hedge fund president, a real estate dealmaker and a propane company manager turned newspaper executive without any background in journalism.

MNG’S INTERESTS ARE NOT ALIGNED WITH THOSE OF OTHER SHAREHOLDERS AND MNG’S FALSE AND MISLEADING STATEMENTS SEEK ONLY TO ADVANCE ITS INTERESTS, NOT THOSE OF ALL SHAREHOLDERS

Contrary to MNG’s claims, MNG has NOT demonstrated an ability to position acquired newspapers for long-term profitability. It has been widely documented that MNG has drastically reduced jobs at its newspapers, thereby undercutting the papers’ ability to produce quality journalism and retain subscribers. Once subscribership falls due to lack of meaningful content, MNG responds with yet more cost cuts, and in some cases, closures of the papers all together.

In addition to MNG’s baseless claims of having executed revivals of print newspapers, MNG is intentionally misleading shareholders in its calculations of Gannett’s performance and the illusory premium it offers shareholders. Even after Gannett clearly identified flaws in MNG’s calculations, MNG continues to make the same claims:

  • MNG compares Gannett’s 2018 results to a time when Gannett was not even a standalone company and ignores that the company’s digital marketing solutions business was built beginning in the second half of 2016, with its contribution to performance only being reflected thereafter.
  • MNG compares Gannett’s performance to companies outside its industry peer group and arbitrarily compares the “premium” of its illusory proposal not to Gannett’s unaffected stock price (as would be customary) but instead to the lowest closing price for Gannett’s shares in its entire 52-week range, taking advantage of the sharp decline the entire stock market experienced in December 2018.

GANNETT’S NOMINEES ARE COMMITTED TO ACTING IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF ALL GANNETT SHAREHOLDERS

Your board and management team are executing a multi-year transformation strategy to position Gannett to thrive in a digital future. We are the first to acknowledge that transformations are hard and take time and that we have more work to do. That said, we are confident that the steps we have taken – and are continuing to take – provide the best path forward for our company to deliver value in the near term. Our focused strategy to enhance Gannett’s growth and profitability is centered around:

  • Leveraging our nationwide scale and local presence to expand and deepen our relationships with consumers and businesses;
  • Accelerating organic digital revenue growth through innovative consumer experiences and new marketing and advertising solutions;
  • Pursuing accretive growth through disciplined, selective acquisitions that provide synergies with our customer base and markets; and
  • Aligning costs within our legacy print business in a thoughtful and strategic manner.

The financial results our strategic initiatives have delivered to date reflect our progress and the potential for Gannett’s digital investments to serve as a growth engine for many years into the future. In 2018 alone, Gannett:

  • Grew digital subscribers by 46%, bringing total paid digital-only subscribers to over 500,000.
  • Grew ReachLocal revenues by 15%.
  • Grew national digital advertising revenue by 19%, with 75% of USA TODAY’s advertising revenue now digital.

Still, our board regularly evaluates our strategic options to ensure that we are best positioned to deliver value for our shareholders. Indeed, we have publicly stated that we would engage with any party that makes a bona fide, credible proposal that appropriately values the company and is capable of being closed. MNG’s illusory proposal continues to fail our test.

VOTE TODAY “FOR ALL” OF GANNETT’S INDEPENDENT, EXPERIENCED DIRECTOR NOMINEES ON THE WHITE PROXY CARD

While we still have work to do, the fact is that Gannett’s USA TODAY NETWORK strategy, digital transformation and focus on client relationships are paying off. Our director nominees have the skills and experience we need to continue to oversee this strategy and make the right decisions to maximize value for all Gannett shareholders. Importantly, all eight of your director nominees are committed to acting in your best interests, and are not beholden to or influenced by any outside entity. The same cannot be said about even one of MNG’s candidates.

We believe your vote will impact the value of your investment – please vote TODAY “FOR ALL” of Gannett’s eight independent director nominees.

We thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

/s/

J. Jeffry Louis, Chairman of the Gannett board of directors

Hawver: Consensus Revenue Estimate

Well, we got last week the Consensus Revenue Estimate (CRE) for the upcoming two years of government in Kansas, and it was so low-key that you could have worn the same shirt the next day. No excitement.

Martin Hawver
Martin Hawver

That CRE, assembled by a group of state fiscal experts and university economics professors, predicts the state is going to take in about $15 million more in the next two years than most of us thought. Oh, there was good news in that the tiny predicted increases of money for the state to spend came after the Legislature and governor had spent $115 million this spring to repay money borrowed from the Kansas Public Employee Retirement System. So, the estimate on which the budget will be crafted reflects spending that most would consider reasonable.

But…there was no excitement. For a Legislature that stands for reelection next year it wasn’t bad news—no tax increases needed to keep the Statehouse doors open—but also not enough increase in revenues to support much of a tax cut for those Kansans who will vote next fall on whether to send their legislator back to indoor parking, drinks and meals from lobbyists and, oh yes…running state government.

Practically, that CRE means that there isn’t any real need for a tax increase—except maybe taxing some of that neat stuff you buy over the Internet and wait two days to be delivered. That’s almost a freebie. Sales-tax that Internet stuff like you tax the sales at brick and mortar stores which sell the same stuff. Doesn’t sound very radical, does it?

The low CRE increase isn’t all bad news. It might actually have the effect of finally spending some money on things like, well, K-12 finance, on social workers and prison guards and those social policies that don’t show up for all of us, but which make the state a better place to live and maybe provide better lives for those who live here.

That isn’t the sort of policy/spending that leads to exciting discussions at the screen door between candidates and voters, or that leads to fascinating palm cards to hand out, but it probably means that lawmakers get to spend time concentrating on better management, more effective programs and a more businesslike government.

So, what’s possible with the meager increase in state revenues?

Look for some little tax cuts, specifically targeted to improve lives.  Not the $130 million that corporations wanted. When there’s not much money to spend, lawmakers tend to focus on voters, not corporations.

And with not much money for tax cuts, that mostly-for-show one percent cut in the sales tax on food likely will be thought through a little better than what was mostly decoration on the tax cut bill vetoed by Gov. Laura Kelly. Remember that? As icing on the corporate/upper-middle class tax reduction bill, lawmakers cut the sales tax on groceries by a penny on the dollar. Spend $10 at the grocery store? You save a dime. Not exactly the way to see Kansans better finance their rent or car payments or kids’ school clothes, is it?  There are surely better ways to help the poor than with pocket change that won’t even buy a candy bar.

Nope, no excitement from the revenue estimate. Sorta like catching your car door before it swings out and bangs the other car. But there’s a dab of money there and while it will take a little longer to explain, those social programs, health care, prison guards, pre-school education for children all pay off as good investments.

Just not very flashy.

 

By Martin Hawver

Syndicated by Hawver News Company LLC of Topeka; Martin Hawver is publisher of Hawver’s Capitol Report—to learn more about this nonpartisan statewide political news service, visit the website at www.hawvernews.com

Travel Blogger: Don’t Check, Carry-On Only

One thing I figured out years ago. What you may ask?  I hate having to wait around for checked luggage.  Worrying did they lose my luggage? Was it damaged? Or any number of related issues, with entrusting your possessions with strangers.

I think it was after my second flight, that I decided that I would not check bags anymore.  Since then a lot in the airline industry has changed.  For one, airlines now charge for checked bags.  All the more reason, not to check my baggage.  I am frugal and, well that simply is not a good use of my money.

What To Pack

  • 3 pairs of casual pants
  • 3 Shirts
  • 4 Changes of socks and undies
  • 1 Mini (compact) umbrella
  • Pajamas or nightgown
  • Crocs, Slippers, or Flipflops
  • Medications and Vitamins
  • Fold-up bag for souvenirs
  • Toiletries (liquids in small quantities, according to the rules)
    (remember hotels have shampoo and soap so don’t need to take them if staying in a hotel)
  • 1 Swim Suit
  • Camera and notepad. Perhaps a book to read

I am wearing my shoes and the fourth pair of clothing. If my travel plans are for more than three days, I wash my laundry. Some hotels have coin laundry machines for guests to use, otherwise, a laundry-mat may be the place to visit.  Although, other travel bloggers have written about dropping off their laundry at the front desk in the morning, and having clean clothes that evening when they return.  Still, others have written about washing their clothes in the bathroom sink. While that is an option, I don’t think that is something I want to do on vacation.

Something else, I learned from an old military friend, who explained that rolling our clothes created more room in baggage than the standard folding.  Least I forget to mention, besides saving money on checked bags, not having to wait for bags on the baggage carousel or worrying about lost baggage.  There are other benefits of only having  a carry-on. Such as getting a bus and not having to drag bulky luggage along with you.

—–

Kevin is a travel and history enthusiast, who traveled solo before he got married in 2010 and now travels with his wife.

——–

Related Sources:
How To Travel with a Carry-On Size Bag for 12½ weeks! By Don and Linda Freedman
I Traveled Through Nine Countries With Just a Carry-on — and I’m Never Checking a Bag Again by MORGAN GOLDBERG (Travel & Leisure)
Keep Calm and Carry-On: How To Travel With Carry-On Only by LAUREN BARTH
How to Travel Carry-On Only (Travel Made Simple)
Carry-On Travel: 10 Easy Steps To Avoid Checking Luggage by Erin (Never Ending Voyage)

Hawver: Puff of White Smoke

Martin Hawver, Columnist
Martin Hawver

Thursday will be, well, not quite the same as a puff of white smoke emerging from the Vatican to signal selection of a new Pope, but close for us habitués of the Kansas Statehouse.

It’s the day that the Consensus Revenue Estimating (CRE) Group posits just what the state will book in revenues for the remainder of this fiscal year (to June 30) and for the upcoming fiscal year.

That estimate becomes the basis for every dime in spending that the Kansas Legislature will approve for the rest of this, and all of the next, fiscal year.

It’s the bank account. Don’t over-spend, and at the same time, don’t not spend enough to provide Kansans the services that they want their state—and its governor and Legislature—to spend on them.

The group, professors and economists and such, looks at virtually every tax number available. Then they estimate just how much of that will wind up in the State General Fund, and then the governor and legislators spend it.

This year’s CRE will provide the first good look at the “trickle down” of the December 2017 federal income tax cuts, which presumably freed up more money for the state to levy taxes against.

Businesses—those with overseas interests—that have been pushing for $130 million in income tax cuts to keep their tax bills level may or may not be able to recalculate just how much in the way of tax breaks they need to keep their profits stable or growing. Then they just have to squeeze it out of the Legislature.

And individual income taxpayers? Not sure, but the CRE will likely tell us how those federal income tax changes—lower rates—will work to make more of their income taxable by the state. Remember, Kansas income tax calculations start with what’s left over after you’ve paid your federal income taxes.

While the rate reductions are a key to that CRE computation, it may well tell legislators just how those new and higher federal standard deductions ($12,000 for single filers, $24,000 for marrieds filing jointly) will work with the state’s standard deductions. Remember, because the Legislature hasn’t “de-coupled” those standard deductions, if you can’t top the federal standard deduction then you are stuck with the Kansas standard deduction–$3,000 for singles, $7,500 for marrieds filing jointly.

What might we learn Thursday? Well, it starts with CRE predicting enough revenue to finance government, and probably pick up some of those services that have been squeezed the last few years because revenues were lower than hoped.

And if the estimate is for more money than needed for those basics? Well, after saving a dab for fiscal safety, there’s likely to be some room for tax cuts—possibly even this legislative session.

Of course, then the fight over the tax cut bill that Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed starts again, but at least there would be an identifiable amount of money that can be spent on tax cuts—after the social welfare, education, transportation and administrative pieces of the state budget are taken care of.

How much will be floating around? We’ll know Thursday.

And who gets that loose change in the state’s pocket?  Corporations? Probably not. Individual income taxpayers? That’ll be fun to watch. Give it to the poor and middle-class or give it to the wealthier Kansans. As we recall, each of those folks gets one vote, and there are more Kansans in the lower brackets than at the top.

That CRE puff of white smoke? It might blow in a lot of directions…

 

By Martin Hawver

Syndicated by Hawver News Company LLC of Topeka; Martin Hawver is publisher of Hawver’s Capitol Report—to learn more about this nonpartisan statewide political news service, visit the website at www.hawvernews.com

LaTurner responds to Senator Suellentrop’s Offensive Twitter Comments

 Following U.S. Senate Candidate Jake LaTurner’s announcement of exceeding his campaign’s first quarter fundraising goal, Wichita Senator Gene Suellentrop tweeted his personal feelings regarding LaTurner’s run in a statement that included unfounded personal attacks on LaTurner’s role as a young father.

screenshot of the offensive tweet
screenshot of the offensive tweet

In response to this personal attack, LaTurner and his wife Suzanne issued the following statements:

“My wife Suzanne and I are greatly offended at Senator Suellentrop’s attack. His comments are a cowardly attempt to apply social shame against us for our parenting without a full knowledge of the facts,” said LaTurner. “Raising our four children to be God-fearing, civic-minded, good people is the most important work of our life. I read to them almost nightly. We go play ball in the back yard; we go fishing; we go to mass together every Sunday. We feel blessed every day. We also try to teach them about service and sacrifice for our community, our state, and our country.

In the future, Gene should be a man, pick up the phone and give me his judgmental comments personally.”

Suzanne LaTurner added:

“The accusation that Jake would not be present for our children is repulsive to me. He is actively engaged in their lives and will be an ever-present dad if elected the United States Senate.

Jake is an amazing father. We made the decision to run for the Senate together because we love our state, our country, and want to safeguard our children’s future. We hope every day we are the parents God wants us to be. We hope Senator Suellentrop respects that in the future.”