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Kansas news digest

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

Supreme Court denies motion to reopen Montoy case

(Kansas Liberty) “The Kansas Supreme Court decided today that it would not be reopening the Montoy school funding case. … Reopening the Montoy case would have saved the districts a significant amount of time and money.”

Committee considers school consolidation

(Kansas Liberty) “Small district complains that community economically relies on schools, Representative says towns should not solely rely on taxpayer dollars to function.”

Groups launch government transparency Web page

(Kansas Liberty) “Americans for Prosperity and the Kansas Policy Institute have teamed up to provide an online transparency tool that will allow Kansas residents to see exactly how the government uses their taxpayer dollars.”

Joe the Plumber Campaigns For 4th Dist. Candidate Jim Anderson

(State of the State KS) “Joe ‘The Plumber’ Wurzelbacher talks about his role in the 2008 Presidential election and why he is endorsing 4th Congressional District candidate Jim Anderson (R).”

Senate Education Debates Catastrophic Aid For School Districts

(State of the State KS) “The Senate Education Committee debated changes to catastrophic aid for school districts after claims jumped to $12 million in 2009 and are estimated to be $47 million this year.”

Rep. Jim Ward Discusses Education Funding and Budget Solutions

(State of the State KS) “Rep. Jim Ward (D) talks about budget options. He is the House Assistant Minority Leader.”

House panel rejects proposed tax-break moratorium

(Kansas Reporter) “TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas House Taxation committee members rejected a state panel’s recommended three-year moratorium on new sales, property and other tax exemptions.”

Sales tax plan hurts low income Kansans, critics say

(Kansas Reporter) “TOPEKA, Kan. – A Kansas panel’s proposal to streamline sales tax exemptions in the state would hurt many of the state’s most fragile citizens, critics told state legislators.”

Supreme Court denies schools’ bid to reopen funding suit

(Kansas Reporter) “TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas’ Supreme Court Friday rejected a request by 74 Kansas schools to reopen a landmark school financing case and allow the schools to seek a reversal of recent state school funding cuts.”

House committee rejects moratorium on tax credits or exemptions

(Kansas Health Institute news service) “TOPEKA – The House Taxation Committee concluded hearings Tuesday on a bill that would repeal sales tax exemptions for non-profits and charities and eliminate the state exemption on the sale of residential utilities.”

People who lost state-funded social services tell their stories

(Kansas Health Institute news service) “TOPEKA – Daniel Perez is a single parent. His 18-year-old son, Danny, is severely autistic. When left alone, Danny will spend hours crinkling cellophane. ‘It’s what he likes to do,’ his father said.”

Government payrolls show continuing, long-term growth as private sector jobs decline

(Kansas Watchdog) “Kansas continues to lose private sector jobs as it adds more taxpayer-funded government jobs, a trend mirrored at the national level. The private sector lost 57,900 jobs between December 2007 and December 2009 while government added 3,200 jobs in Kansas according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).”

Fuzzy “Facts” vs Freedom in Smoking Ban Debate

(Kansas Watchdog) “There’s almost no debate that smoking is unhealthy, but there’s plenty of debate about whether and how to implement a statewide ban on smoking in public to reduce exposure to second-hand smoke. Interested citizens, lobbyists and speakers filled the Health and Human Services hearing room in the Docking building Wednesday.”

LPA School Consolidation Audit Points the Way for Savings

(Kansas Watchdog) “Monday’s Legislative Post Audit school consolidation report found the state could save as much as $138 million per year by consolidating smaller school districts. … Several district superintendents filed objections to the report, most citing a desire for local control of consolidation decisions and a desire to avoid the challenges of working with other districts. LPA auditors stated, ‘None of the issues they raised prohibit consolidation.'”

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