Top Morning News 2.19.13
Health exchange in Kansas will be federally operated; Budget director apologizes for numbers error; KU building gets slashed from Senate budget.
Kansas Will Have Federally Operated Health Exchange
The new, online health insurance marketplace going into effect next year will be operated by federal officials.
Brownback Budget Director Apologizes For Incorrect Number
State Budget Director Steve Anderson has apologized for giving Gov. Sam Brownback an incorrect figure that was used to make false claims about former Gov. Mark Parkinson.
Anderson says the mistake occurred in entering data on an internal administration spreadsheet tracking total state spending. The error showed total state spending peaking at $16 billion during the state's 2010 fiscal year, under Gov. Parkinson. The actual spending for fiscal 2010 was almost $14 billion.
Brownback has contrasted the purported $16 billion figure with lower total spending since he took office in January 2011.
Senate Budget Would Cut $10M For KU Med Building
There was a setback for the University of Kansas Medical Center in state budget discussions Monday. A state Senate committee voted to cut $10 million that was intended to help pay for a new health education building on campus.
Statewide Food Drive Launched
Gov. Brownback and Agriculture Secretary Dale Rodman launched the "Neighbor to Neighbor" statewide food drive Monday.
They are trying to bring in 50,000 meals for needy families in the state. It will end on Kansas Agriculture Day, March 19.
Participants can drop off food at Dillon's Food Stores across the state. Harvesters, the Kansas Food Bank, and Second Harvest Community Food are also joining the drive.