Monday news briefs

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Kansas Gas Service predicts lower bill this winter

Bill payers are expected to pay 8 percent less on natural gas during the winter season, according to Dawn Ewing, spokeswoman for Kansas Gas Service.

“During the last winter heating season, our average customer incurred bills totaling approximately $515,” Ewing said to the Topeka Capital Journal. “For the same period this coming winter, we’re forecasting customer bills to total approximately $475.”

In the past decade, production of natural gas increased, resulting in a decrease of prices. The decrease in natural gas prices recently hit a low of $2.10 per million British thermal units, according to the Topeka Capital Journal. Last year the price was about $4 per MMBtu, and has dropped since it was $11 per MMBtu in 2008.

Kansas headed for budget problems

The Kansas budget is headed toward a multimillion-dollar deficit, according to the Associated Press.

Gov. Sam Brownback did not approve a tax increase in addition to the tax increase on both sales and cigarette purchases back in July.

“It was, you know, just such an ass-kicking,” Sen. Jim Denning, said in the article. “We’re not going to go through it again.”

According to Shawn Sullivan, state budget director, Brownback and his affiliates will cut spending and adjust the budget in other ways. According to AP, the other budget adjustments include “shuffling money among various government accounts.”

“I’m not going to officially take it off the table at this point,” Sullivan said in the article.

October’s tax collections will be evaluated today to determine whether tax revenue has continued to decrease. The fiscal forecast estimates a collection of $6.2 billion in tax dollars. According to AP, the state’s total annual budget is $15.3 billion. Kansas tax revenue fell short $67 million last year.

Kansas is not alone in budgeting problems. According to the federal government, the national economy grew only 1.5 percent during the summer. According to Arturo Perez, a fiscal analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures, the U.S. is still recovering since the end of the Great Recession in 2009.

Forensic science lab opens at Washburn University

Today, a new forensic science laboratory opens. The multimillion-dollar lab is located at Washburn University in Topeka, according to the Associated Press.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation will use the new lab, replacing the old lab located in a renovated junior high school. The new facility will also house Washburn University’s forensic science classes.

According to Kirk Thompson, KBI director, the new space meets both current and future desires and needs of the KBI.

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Jamie Teixeira
My name is Jamie Teixeira and I am a senior English and journalism with a minor in Leadership. I am the president of Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society, a tutor at the K-State Writing Center,and a member of the K-State Tap Dance Ensemble. My future plans are to become an editor or publisher of children's literature. Outside of school I love to read and cuddle with my kitten, Bert.