KOAM News to Know (12/23/21)

The news you need to know before you head out the door

TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas Governor Laura Kelly is proposing to give residents who pay income taxes a one-time rebate of $250 dollars. Governor Kelly outlined the proposal on Wednesday. The Republican-controlled legislature would have to approve the plan, and GOP lawmakers are expected to have proposals for ongoing income tax cuts instead of one-time rebates. Lawmakers’ next annual session convenes January 10th. Governor Kelly said such rebates would be possible because Kansas has been collecting more in tax revenues than expected for months. Her proposal would provide $250 dollars to individuals and $500 dollars to married couples filing jointly. About 1.2 million filers would receive a total of $445 million dollars.

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Forest Service revises down the number of acres burned in last week’s wildfires. The agency posted on Facebook saying roughly 163-thousand acres burned December 15th, not the 400-thousand that was first estimated. The Forest Service and the National Interagency Fire Coordination Center are using a new satellite data system to map ongoing wildfires. The service says that as heat, dust and smoke cleared, the satellite was able to get a clearer picture. The fires claimed two lives.

WICHITA, Kan. – Restrictive abortion laws in Texas that went into effect in September mean, right now women are crossing the border to Oklahoma and Kansas for abortion services. The “Trust Women” clinic says they saw fewer than 10 Texas patients in its Oklahoma and Kansas facilities before the Texas law went into effect. Now, they’re seeing more than 100 women a month and they say they’re struggling to keep up with the rush. Oklahoma has three abortion laws on a temporary injunction right now. They were supposed to go into effect November first.

SAINT LOUIS, Mo. – New cases and hospitalizations from covid-19 are surging throughout Missouri, and health leaders are warning of an approaching “perfect storm” if more people don’t get vaccinated and take other precautions. Missouri is now seeing a seven-day average of daily new cases of more than 3,000. The average dipped below 1,000 in October. Meanwhile, hospitals are becoming overwhelmed in both the Saint Louis and Kansas City areas, even before Christmas gatherings and before the fast-moving omicron variant fully takes hold.

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