Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Wednesday January 26, 2011

Kansas legislature website. The Kansas legislature’s website is improving. Today the calendar is available for today’s session of the House, although yesterday’s journal is not. The Senate is better, with both today’s calendar and yesterday’s journal available. These documents are now presented in the preferred pdf format, although the unconventional and inconvenient viewing window is still being used. … Contact information for members seems to be fairly complete, even for the newest member who was elected just last week. … Bills seem to be more up-to-date, with history available for some. But so far I’ve not seen any bill’s fiscal note. … The search feature, which uses a Google site search, seems to be able to include recent material. … Too much to ask for? The website doesn’t have a mobile version, at least not for the Iphone.

Warden to speak. This Friday’s meeting (January 28th) of the Wichita Pachyderm Club features Sam Cline, Warden of the Hutchinson Correctional Facility. His topic will be “An Overview of the Programs Offered at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility.” The public is welcome and encouraged to attend Wichita Pachyderm meetings. For more information click on Wichita Pachyderm Club.

The plain truth about who owns the Democratic Party. The Washington Examiner is in the midst of a series of articles comprising a special report about the Democratic Party and who it serves. Writes editor Mark Tapscott: “The lawyers and three other special interests — Big Labor union leaders, Big Green environmentalists, and Big Insiders with billions of dollars in personal wealth and foundation grants — together essentially dictate what Democrats can and cannot support on many key public policy issues. Call them the Four Horsemen of the coming Democratic apocalypse.” The “home page” for the series is The plain truth about who owns the Democratic Party.

Why have your own state if you’re not special? Mike Hall in the Topeka Capital-Journal: “What makes Kansans different from people living in the other states? There must be some differences, or why mark us off inside our own boundaries? I have been intrigued with that question for years and have amassed a collection of observations by other Kansans also trying to describe the uniqueness of the geography and people of Kansas.” Hall goes on to list a few examples of “You Know You Grew Up in Kansas When.” Such as: “You know that the halves of the state are based on US-81 highway.” Actually, I had thought the dividing line between eastern and western Kansas was Wanamaker Road in west Topeka.

Kansas repealer. Kansas now has a repealer, according to Kansas Reporter: The job of repealing burdensome regulations and laws will fall to Secretary of Administration Dennis Taylor. … He’ll be tasked with establishing a system that allows Kansans to point out laws that might be eligible for repeal, investigating Kansas laws to determine which ones aren’t needed, and making recommendations of repeal to the authority that has the power to do away with the regulation.” Hopefully this office will produce tangible results soon.

School choice in Kansas. “At some point in most school funding debates, someone will justify their position by saying ‘it’s all about doing what’s best for the kids.’ It’s not a partisan thing; I’ve heard it from people with opposite opinions on whether schools need more money. And that’s what should drive every education discussion — doing what’s best for kids, not the adults in the system. This week is National School Choice Week and there’s no better way to show that it really is about the kids than to support school choice. That’s not an attack on public schools. Public schools work very well for many students, but not all. Granted, that may be a subjective position, but who should decide whether a particular school or district is best for a child — the government or a parent?” More from Kansas Policy Institute President Dave Trabert at Zip Code Shouldn’t Matter — Delivering An Effective Education For Every Child.

Kansas Days this week. This weekend marks the annual Kansas Days event, a gathering of Republicans in Topeka. More information is at Kansas Days Club.

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