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Kansas news digest

News from alternative media around Kansas for January 25, 2010.

Kansas Republicans and Democrats agree Massachusetts upset could benefit Kansans

(Kansas Liberty) “Republican Senatorial candidate Scott Brown made history last night when he defeated Democratic candidate Martha Coakley in the election for Sen. Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts seat. Kansas Republicans are lining up to proclaim how this victory could signal a change in the tide for the Democratic Party and for the Democrats health care plans.”

Rally members frustrated by mainstream media coverage

(Kansas Liberty) “Last Friday, approximately 400 liberty-minded Kansans flocked to the Statehouse to support a Senate Concurrent Resolution that claims state sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution. The resolution serves notice to the federal government to cease and desist certain mandates, provides that certain federal legislation should be prohibited or repealed, and it directs distribution of the resolution to Congress and the President. … According to legislators and organization members who were present at the rally, the grassroots support for the amendment was substantial, but many of the mainstream media outlets painted a watered down picture of the outpouring of support. Several reports also focused in on the sole opponent who testified during the hearing, an educator at Wichita Collegiate School, which is a private K-12 school.”

New coalition plotting to lobby legislators for tax increases

(Kansas Liberty) “Roughly a dozen tax-increase advocacy groups have banned together to form the Kansans for Quality Communities Coalition. According to its mission statement the organization’s key goal is to ‘ensure the prosperity of Kansas communities through the responsible investment of taxpayer dollars.’ To achieve this goal the group is heavily lobbying for tax increases, an action already sanctioned by Democratic leaders, including Gov. Mark Parkinson.”

AG Six requests Kansas Supreme Court to refrain from reopening Montoy case

(Kansas Liberty) “Attorney General Steve Six has asked the Kansas Supreme Court to deny the Schools for Fair Funding coalition’s request to reopen the Montoy v. State of Kansas lawsuit. “The Court in 2006 issued its mandate directing the district court to dismiss the case, and on the stipulation of all parties, the district court did so,’ Six said in a statement issued to the Kansas Supreme Court yesterday. ‘This case is over.’ Six referred to the request as ‘unprecedented’ and said that it ‘achieves no efficiencies, and is merely an attempt to circumvent the procedures for initiating new cases.'”

Kansas Senator Chris Steiniger on County Consolidation and His New Campaign

(State of the State KS) “Kansas Senator Chris Steiniger (D) talks about county consolidation and his recent announcement to run for Secretary of State.”

Legislators Speak at Energy Conference in Wichita

(State of the State KS) “House Assistant Minority Leader Jim Ward (D) and Kansas Senator Carolyn McGinn (R) spoke at an energy panel hosted by City of Wichita’s Dale Goter.” Full video of the conference is at Wichita Energy Conference Legislative Panel .

ProPublica predicts insolvency for Kansas’ unemployment insurance fund

(Kansas Watchdog) “Propublica, a national independent non-profit investigative journalism organization, on Wednesday reported that two dozen states have unemployment funds in the red, with nine more to be in the red within six months.”

U.S. Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance won’t affect Kansas much

(Kansas Watchdog) “The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that businesses and unions may spend freely on political campaigns, but this ruling only affects federal races in Kansas. ‘It won’t affect us at all’ was the response from Carol Williams, the executive director of the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission. Williams said that 24 states had corporate and union contribution bans but Kansas did not.”

Wichita Chamber Will Lobby Against Income Tax

(Kansas Watchdog) “The Wichita Business Journal reported in today’s edition that the Wichita Chamber of Commerce is beginning what will likely be a multi-year effort to repeal the personal and business income taxes in Kansas.”

Furlough idea for legislators is dropped

(Kansas Reporter) “TOPEKA, Kan. – Furloughs for the Kansas Legislature are off the table until late in the legislative session, at the earliest, state Senate President Stephen Morris said.”

More budget cuts would hurt Kansas for years, tax backers say

(Kansas Reporter) “TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas school children, the state’s elderly and its most fragile citizens simply cannot afford any more state budget cuts, proponents of a proposed one-percent sales tax increase told a Kansas House tax policy committee Thursday.”

School’s reserves total at least $1.4 billion

(Kansas Reporter) “TOPEKA, Kan. – In the fight over school funding, both sides agree that school districts in Kansas are sitting on at least $1.4 billion in cash reserves. The battle over whether that money is available to spend played out during two competing presentations Thursday morning in front of the House Appropriations Committee.”

Kansans speculate on future of federal health reform

(Kansas Health Institute News Service) “TOPEKA – The shockwaves emanating from Republican Scott Brown’s U.S. Senate victory in Massachusetts on Tuesday are being felt beyond the Bay state and Washington, D.C. They’re registering in state capitals across the country, including Topeka.”

Senate GOP leaders say some tax increases will be necessary

(Kansas Health Institute News Service) “TOPEKA – Senate leaders today said a combination of tax increases and spending cuts would be the best way to balance the state budget. Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, said he thought a plan to close sales tax exemptions and increase the tobacco tax could win legislative approval as lawmakers try to close a projected $400 million budget gap. Senate Vice President John Vratil, R-Leawood, said balancing the budget solely with more spending cuts would be ‘catastrophic.'”

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