Kansas news digest

News from alternative media around Kansas for March 16, 2010.

School consolidation measures deliberated in House

(Kansas Liberty) “The Kansas House tentatively approved a plan today that would allow three or more school districts to consolidate into two districts. House Bill 2704 originally included two consolidation-promoting components, but one of the components was stripped off on the House floor under the direction of Rep. Bill Light, R-Rolla.”

Concealed-carry bill stalls in committee

(Kansas Liberty) “Legislation promoting an alteration to the state’s concealed-carry law has been sitting in the House Federal and State Affairs committee since its February hearing. House Bill 2685 would require any state building that posts a sign prohibiting concealed-carry to have adequate security measures in place.”

Debate — who decides supremacy of Health Care Freedom Amendment?

(Kansas Liberty) “Conferees testifying on the Health Care Freedom Amendment butted heads today on whether the measure would provide the state with adequate protection from being forced to comply with any health-care mandates that could be passed by the federal government.”

Sales tax exemption repeals a possibility for nonprofits, other organizations

(Kansas Reporter) “TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas business owners and non-profit service organizations urged lawmakers Monday to reject proposals that would require groups as diverse as utility customers, Girl Scouts and coin-operated laundry owners to pay more sales taxes.”

Mega school districts would save millions, panel told

(Kansas Reporter) “TOPEKA, Kan. – Consolidating Kansas’ nearly 300 school districts into a fraction of that number, with 10,000 students in each district, would cut potentially hundreds of million of dollars in duplicative administrative costs, backers of such a plan told a Kansas House panel this week.”

KDOT looks at Amtrak expansion

(Kansas Reporter) “TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas House voted 115 to five Thursday to give Kansas Secretary of Transportation Deb Miller the ability to prepare for expanded rail service in the state. That same day, Amtrak released a study concerning the feasibility of such passenger rail service, which was presented to the House Transportation committee.”

Tobacco tax plan hurts mom-and-pop stores, opponents say

(Kansas Reporter) “TOPEKA, Kan. – Tom Palace considered wearing a bulls-eye costume to testify before the Kansas Senate Assessment and Taxation committee hearing Wednesday. As executive director of the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association of Kansas, Palace feels that the legislature’s proposed options for additional revenue target his industry at every turn. Cigarette, liquor, fuel and sales taxes are all options that the legislature is examining to cover an estimated $400 million budget shortfall.”

Kansas panel changes proposed property tax lid

(Kansas Reporter) “TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas House Taxation committee members voted to send a proposed lid on new property tax increases to the House floor Tuesday after first changing a key condition in the plan.”

Spokesmen for developmentally disabled ask Supreme Court to halt spending cuts

(Kansas Health Institute News Service) “TOPEKA – A restraining order against the State of Kansas was requested Friday by advocates for the developmentally disabled, who said recent budget cuts are harmful and in violation of federal laws and the state constitution. ‘Thousands of people are hurting out there,’ said Tom Laing, executive director of Interhab, a group representing community programs for the developmentally disabled. ‘We should not want to live in a state where these things are allowed.’”

Legislature wades into tax bills this week

(Kansas Health Institute News Service) “TOPEKA – After weeks of talking about weak revenues and budget cuts, the Legislature this week takes up various tax proposals ranging from elimination of sales tax exemptions to a new levy on soda pop and other sugared drinks.”

Governor says votes there for major tax increase

(Kansas Health Institute News Service) “TOPEKA – There are enough votes to pass a $300 million to $400 million tax increase, the governor told KHI News Service. But still uncertain, he said, is the specific mix of taxes legislators will settle on. They currently have before them proposals to increase the general sales tax but also tobacco and alcohol. The Senate also is considering a measure that for the first time tax the sugar in soft drinks and other sugary beverages. The Senate and House this week also are looking at bills that would repeal sales tax exemptions.”

Sunshine Week 2010: Sunshine is the Best Disinfectant

(Kansas Watchdog) “Our nation’s founding documents state clearly that the people, endowed with fundamental, inalienable rights, are the masters of government, which derives its just power from the consent of the governed. But, can consent be given without knowledge of what is consented to? Citizens are in an uphill battle against the inertia of decades of apathy. Adding urgency to the battle is the dramatic growth of government influence, power and complexity both nationally and locally.”

A Look Inside the Kansas State Board of Education

(Kansas Watchdog) “The March meeting of the Kansas State Board of Education made no headlines in the major media but the future of Kansas’ youth, the financial future of the state and its citizens’ freedoms all depend, in part, on how the Board works and the decisions it makes. A few glimpses into the Board’s operation are telling.”

My view: Campaign Finance should cover judicial retention elections

(Kansas Watchdog) “Regardless of where one is on the political spectrum, open government, open records and transparency are issues that everyone can agree on. When Tom Witt from the Kansas Equality Coalition asked me to speak in favor of transparency in judicial retention elections, I knew that was an issue I had no choice but to embrace.”

Governor Mark Parkinson on the Economy, the Budget and Kansas Health

(State of the State KS) “Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson (D) addresses budget shortfalls, key Capitol legislative issues and the need for bipartisan work in Kansas and Washington.”

Budget Director Duane Goossen On This Year’s $106 Million Problem

(State of the State KS) “Budget Director Duane Goossen talks about new information the state is short $106 million for 2010 and what should be done to fix it.”

School Consolidation Considered as Solution To Budget Crisis

(State of the State KS) “The House Education Budget committee heard debate on a bill Thursday that would consolidate the current 293 school districts to about 45 across the state.”


One thought on “Kansas news digest”

  1. Why in the heck are we trying to bring the broken down, money wasting, Federal boondoggle known as Amtrak to Wichita? Are we not in a recession going towards a depression? This is a waste of time and money!

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