Chris Steineger

Kansas Bioscience Authority hearings, day 2

At the second day of testimony (January 26, 2012) regarding a forensic audit of the Kansas Bioscience Authority, a representative of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback was strongly critical of the audit itself, and also of the Board of Directors of KBA. Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale A. Rodman, who oversaw the audit process on behalf of the Brownback Administration, also said that legislators who voted to form the KBA should "feel outraged that a golden opportunity that you helped create was taken away from your efforts." Rodman urged the committee to step back and look at the situation from a…
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Kansas committee asks if KBA audit did enough to expose problems

By Bob Weeks, Special to KansasWatchdog.org Members of the joint Commerce and Economic Development Committees expressed concern that a forensic audit of the Kansas Bioscience Authority was not broad enough and that deliberate deletion of data from a KBA computer left questions unanswered. On Wedesday James Snyder, managing partner for BKD’s Forensics and Valuation Services, told the committee that while his firm was hired and paid by KBA, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s administration was heavily involved. Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman served as the main contact for the Brownback Administration, although Caleb Stegall, the governor’s chief lawyer, and Steve Anderson,…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Thursday April 14, 2011

Kansas State Board of Education vs. Walt Chappell. There is another development in the tenure of Walt Chappell, Kansas State Board of Education member. Chappell holds some opinions that differ from the rest of the board, or at least the majority of the board, and they don't like Chappell expressing his opinions in newspaper columns, etc. The board would rather have a unified front, even if the position taken is incorrect. Of particular, the issue of the unspent Kansas school fund balances has been prominent. Kansas Watchdog reports on a recent meeting of the board where the issue of Chappell…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Sunday April 10, 2011

Local elections, qualifications of Wichita's elected officials. On today's edition of the KAKE Television public affairs program This Week in Kansas, Wichita State University's Ken Ciboski, Chapman Rackaway of Fort Hays State University and myself join host Tim Brown to discuss local elections in Kansas. Mention was made of a recent article I wrote that was critical of the educational attainment of some Wichita City Council members. See Education gap on Wichita City Council. Steineger, Kansas senator, to address Pachyderms. This Friday (April 15) Kansas Senator Chris Steineger will speak to the members and guests of the Wichita Pachyderm Club…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Tuesday December 21, 2010

Steineger switches teams. Chris Steineger, a Kansas State Senator from Kansas City, has switched to the Republican Party. As a Democrat, Steineger had compiled a voting record more conservative than many senate Republicans. On the Kansas Economic Freedom Index for this year -- recognizing that supporting economic freedom is not the same as conservatism or Republicanism -- Steineger had a voting record more in favor of economic freedom than that of 15 of the senate's Republicans. Kansas school funding reform to wait. Incoming Kansas Governor Sam Brownback says that the Kansas economy comes first, and then school finance, Medicaid, and…
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Kansas budget can be balanced without tax increases

As the Kansas Legislature prepares to get to work next week producing a budget plan for the next year, Kansans are being told that tax increases are inevitable. Several sources, however, have ideas and detailed plans as to how the state can avoid tax increases. Kansas Senator Chris Steineger, a Democrat from Kansas City, has a list of cost-cutting measures that could be implemented quickly. See Kansas can have fast, achievable savings for his list. Steineger also has what he calls the billion dollar list, which contains items that could save even more money. Some of these proposals such as…
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Kansas can have fast, achievable savings

Kansas Senator Chris Steineger (Democrat from Kansas City) has formulated a list of items that he says could lead to "fast, achievable savings" for the state of Kansas. This list is titled the "$100 million list." Some of the items have cost savings given, and some don't. In particular, the idea of selling state-owned office buildings is appealing. Steineger showed me preliminary research that showed that the "rent" the state charges agencies is more expensive than private office space in downtown Topeka. The revenue from selling the buildings is a one-time boost, but the reduced operating expense is ongoing. Here's…
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Kansas texting, seat belt law passes

Today the Kansas Senate debated and passed Senate Substitute for House Bill 2437. This bill creates a "primary" seat belt law, meaning that a law enforcement officer can stop a car when the officer believes someone in the car may not be wearing a seat belt. Currently, the car must have been stopped for other reasons before the officer could cite occupants for not wearing seat belts. The bill would send about $11 million federal dollars to Kansas; $1 million earmarked for transportation safety, but the rest could be shifted into the state general fund. Governor Mark Parkinson has identified…
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Kansas school consolidation: it won’t be the first time

An issue that some promote as a way to make Kansas schools more efficient and save money is school consolidation. If it happens, it won't be the first time schools in our state have gone through consolidation. Kansas Senator Chris Steineger, who is a Democrat representing Kansas City, recently asked the Kansas Legislative Research Department for information about school consolidation in Kansas. The memo that KLRD produced is below, and here are some interesting facts. In 1958 Kansas had 2,794 school districts. That number shrunk to 311 in 1969. (Today there are 296 districts.) The goal during the 1960s was…
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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…
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Kansas economy debated in Wichita

Last Thursday at a meeting of the City Clerks and Municipal Finance Officers Association of Kansas, the effectiveness of the federal economic stimulus and the Kansas economy were discussed. Americans For Prosperity National Director of State Operations Alan Cobb and Kansas Secretary of Revenue Joan Wagnon were the participants, with Dale Goter, Wichita Governmental Relations Manager, as moderator. Wagnon started the debate by reciting the distress that the economy has experienced over the past year. She said that these conditions said to the new president "You need to do something." She said that about 10,000 jobs were picked up in…
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Steineger responds to critics. They’re not persuaded.

Kansas State Senator Chris Steineger, a Democrat from Kansas City, has reached out to the "other side" several times this year. He spoke at Americans For Prosperity’s Defending the American Dream Summit in Wichita in January (see Kansas Senator Chris Steineger on Redesigning Kansas Government.). On April 15, he spoke at the tea party protest in Overland Park. Kansas blogger Jason Croucher in his Kansas Jackass post KS-Gov: Chris Steineger Takes in a Tea Party, mildly criticized Steineger for his tea party appearance. The comments left to this post, however, were vicious. Today Croucher publishes a message from Steineger in…
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Steineger introduces Kansas county consolidation bill

Kansas Senator Chris Steineger, Democrat from Kansas City, has introduced a bill whose aim is to reduce the number of counties in Kansas. The bill is Senate Bill 198. It's pretty short to read at just two pages, part of that being the list of counties to be merged. I've covered this idea in earlier posts based on listening to Sen. Steinger speak in public, and in private. See Kansas Senator Chris Steineger on Redesigning Kansas Government and Redesigning Kansas County Government: Follow-up. Sen. Steineger also had an op-ed piece in the Wichita Eagle at Sen. Chris Steineger: Modernize Government.…
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Redesigning Kansas County Government: Follow-up

Last week I reported on a talk that Kansas Senator Kansas Senator Chris Steineger, Democrat from Kansas City, delivered to some 300 citizens at Americans For Prosperity's Defending the American Dream Summit in Wichita. One of the things Steineger believes is that Kansas has too many counties, a legacy from the days of travel to the county seat by horseback. So I got to thinking about the consolidation of two counties into one and some of the issues that would be involved. In a follow-up call with the senator, he mentioned that even ten to 12 counties could join together…
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Kansas Senator Chris Steineger on Redesigning Kansas Government

On January 10, 2009, Kansas Senator Chris Steineger, Democrat from Kansas City, spoke to some 300 citizens at Americans For Prosperity's Defending the American Dream Summit in Wichita. Steineger said that we should look at the current budget crisis in Kansas as an opportunity to redesign and reinvent Kansas government. He asked "why do we have 105 counties?" The answer is that made Kansas counties small enough that everyone could have a one-day horseback ride -- the mode of travel in 1861 when Kansas was formed -- to the county seat. But today, we have cars, highways, telephones, cell phones,…
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Americans for Prosperity — Kansas to hold second Defending the American Dream Summit

Event to kick off 2009 Kansas Legislative Session TOPEKA -- The free-market grassroots group Americans for Prosperity-Kansas will hold its second statewide Defending the American Dream Summit in Wichita Saturday, January 10, 2009, just two days prior to the start of the 2009 Kansas Legislature. “This event will serve as a kick-off for the new legislative session,” said Americans for Prosperity-Kansas state director Derrick Sontag. “Going into the 2009 Legislature, we see an opportunity to help change the way elected officials seem to view their obligations to taxpayers, and how our state budgets its funds.” The event, held at the…
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Wasteful Kansas statehousesSpending

Wasteful Statehouse Spending By Karl Peterjohn, Executive Director, Kansas Taxpayers Network Wasteful spending at the Kansas statehouse is nothing new. What is new is the wasteful spending on the Kansas statehouse. This building still has the ugly look of a construction site with a soaring price tag. In 2007 a bipartisan group of legislative moderates are intent on continuing this unlimited statehouse spending spree. When the legislature enacted SB 660 in 2000 authorizing $40 million in bond funding for the statehouse remodel that did not seem too terribly out of line. That had followed six figure appropriations for remodeling the…
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