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Kansas news digest

News from alternative media around Kansas for November 30, 2009.

Parkinson balances budget as promised, but now gearing up for tax hike

(Kansas Liberty premium article) Analysis of the governor’s budget cuts, with a look forward: “Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson released a column yesterday illustrating how Monday’s cuts have devastated various state agencies. Parkinson argued that any possible inefficiency within state agencies has been eliminated through the latest round of allotments. … Parkinson, in addition to some legislators, have already started to lay the foundation for tax increases and so-called ‘revenue enhancements.'”

Also from Kansas Liberty see Agencies react to governor’s cuts.

Kansas legislators butt heads on K-12 funding cuts

(Kansas Liberty) “Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson cut K-12 funding by $36 million yesterday, placing schools at the same level of funding they received in 2006. The federal government requires that states continue to fund their schools no lower than the 2006 level to maintain stimulus funding.”

Moore’s retirement spurs Republican interest in Third District race

(Kansas Liberty) “The Republican Party demonstrated a renewed interest in the Third District congressional race today after Rep. Dennis Moore, a Democrat, announced he would not be seeking re-election. Within hours of Moore’s announcement, the list of possible and probable Republican candidates more than doubled in size.” Mentioned in this article: 2008 challenger Nick Jordan, House Appropriations Chair Kevin Yoder R-Overland Park, Kansas senators Karin Brownlee, R-Olathe and Jeff Colyer, R-Overland Park, and Charlotte O’Hara.

Letter from the Newsroom — KPERS Edition

(State of the State, Kansas) “Later this week we focus on the the health of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. The Center for Applied Economics at Kansas University recently issued a report questioning the sustainability of the pension system and we speak with people at the heart of the debate including one of the co-authors of the study, Art Hall. These stories will be posted later this week so check back as we post them.”

Parkinson: No easy budget answers

(Kansas Watchdog) “Gov. Mark Parkinson said $258.9 million in spending cuts he made to balance the state’s 2010 budget will touch every agency and department. ‘This is the most challenging time in Kansas state budget history,’ Parkinson said Monday during the announcement. He said the state is dealing with an unprecedented fourth year of revenue decline, 2008 through 2011.”

Is Governor Parkinson Setting the Table for a Tax Increase?

(Kansas Watchdog) “Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson and others in his administration are loath to publicly say they want a tax increase to address the state’s budget challenges. Parkinson promised House Republicans he would make spending cuts, if needed after the 2009 Legislative session, in exchange for less contention over the budget at the end of the session. True to his word, Parkinson made the cuts. But take a look at some recent comments and consider what’s between the lines.”

Kansas Ethics Commission to ask legislature for law changes

(Kansas Watchdog) “‘Issue advocacy’ rules and less openness by some universities are among recommendations for new laws to be sent to the legislature by the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission. One new law would require those involved with ‘issue advocacy’ to file contribution and expenditure reports like candidates and PACs if they spend $300 or more to engage in communications with voters 30 days before a primary election, or 60 days before a general election.”

2009 Annual Report from Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission

(Kansas Watchdog) “At their recent meeting the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission discussed proposals for the Kansas legislature to consider in 2010.”

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