Up First in the Four States News Podcast from KRPS for 06/17/2021

Good Wednesday Morning, thanks for joining me for Up First in the Four States, from KRPS. I’m Fred Fletcher-Fierro. Let’s first take a look at local weather,

Sunny and hot again today throughout Southeast Kansas, breezy also, with winds up to 20 miles per hour, highs today in the upper-’90s and lower 100’s. Clear conditions expected tonight, still windy, lows in the lower’70s. Three more days of clear and dry conditions across the area Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Highs tomorrow in the upper’90s, dropping into the mid’90s on Saturday and lower’90s on Sunday.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly

Gov. Laura Kelly Wednesday announced three nominees for the board that oversees the state’s public universities and community colleges. Suzanne Perez of the Kansas News Service has more.

A Missouri Freshman Democratic Legislator was in Joplin Wednesday night to speak about her first months in the House. Besty Fogle spoke at the monthly meeting of the Southwest Missouri Democrats on a warm Wednesday evening at Cunningham Park in Joplin. She gave about a 40-minute progress report of the legislative session on a variety of topics from Medicaid expansion, to public education funding and the latest House Bills signed by Governor Parson this week. She also spoke about why she voted in favor of the first gas tax increase in Missouri 25-years ago. “As a legislator, we’re always triaging right? We’re trying to find the best-case scenario with sometimes are two very terrible options. And the gas tax, what got me to a place where I was comfortable. Unlike the gas tax of 2018 there’s a rebate program, individuals can get their money back if they keep their receipts.” Fogle expects the Missouri Senate to be called into a special session next Monday. And the Missouri House the following Monday.

7.4% of positive COVID-19 cases Greene County, Missouri health officials tracked in May reported being fully vaccinated against the disease for at least two weeks at the time they became ill. Connor Wilson reports.

A new tax transparency law in Kansas is complicating the budget process for local governments. The law requires taxing agencies to hold hearings if they plan to collect more money than last year — even if their tax rate stays the same. The challenge is trying to estimate mill levies when property values aren’t yet finalized. Chris Komarek is the city administrator in Ellinwood. “We’re working with numbers that won’t be accurate in November. I guess that’s the big problem. We’re working off of estimated valuations that we receive in June.” The new law also did away with the property tax lid, which required public approval to increase property tax by more than the rate of inflation.

Cities, counties and school districts in Kansas are starting to craft budgets for next year. And a new state law is complicating things, as Suzanne Perez of the Kansas News Service reports.

And now our feature of the day,

Missouri Republicans have a chance in 2022 to do something that was unthinkable a decade ago: Sweep all statewide offices. But an unwieldy and unpredictable primary for the U.S. Senate is complicating that goal, especially a crowded field that could enable someone like former Gov. Eric Greitens to get the nomination. St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum checks the pulse of the GOP faithful about the uncertain Senate contest.

Thanks for joining me for the up first in the Four States podcast. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

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