Flint Hills Center for Public Policy

Kansas Policy Institute site launched

The Flint Hills Center for Public Policy, a Kansas-based think tank, recently changed its name to the Kansas Policy Institute. Now the organization's website, formerly at www.flinthills.org, has changed. The new site is Kansas Policy Institute at www.kansaspolicy.org. From the new site: Kansas Policy Institute is an independent non-profit organization that advocates for free enterprise solutions and the protection of personal freedom. Our work is focused on state and local economic issues in Kansas with particular emphasis on education, fiscal policy and health care. We empower citizens and legislators with credible research and creative ideas to promote a low-tax, pro-growth…
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Kansas Policy Institute releases ‘Kansas Primer on Education Funding’

Recently the Kansas Policy Institute (formerly known as the Flint Hills Center for Public Policy) released "A Kansas Primer on Education Funding." This is a four-volume set of research, with volumes one and two available at present. Volume One is titled "History of Education Finance." It's written by Gregory L. Schneider, who is Associate Professor of History at Emporia State University, and also author of the recently-published book The Conservative Century: From Reaction to Revolution A direct link to the document is A Kansas Primer on Education Funding: Volume I History of Education Finance. Or, read the document below (I…
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‘Kansas Reporter’ launched

This week the Kansas Policy Institute announced the launch of KansasReporter, a news service covering Kansas government. Combined with some other relatively new sources of news, analysis, and commentary -- Kansas Liberty, Kansas Watchdog, State of the State, Kansas and a few older sources like Kansas Meadowlark and Voice For Liberty in Wichita -- Kansans should be better-equipped to know what's going on in our state, and to become more involved in our state and local governments. Following is its press release. KansasReporter launches online news service Topeka, Kan., Dec. 9 - KansasReporter is pleased to announce the December 9…
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Kansas news digest

News from alternative media around Kansas for October 26, 2009. Kansans will have to pay to support health care in states favored by Democrats (Kansas Liberty) Special treatment and favors pollute health care reform bill: "Senate Democrats have worked in extra provisions to the reform plans that would give their states special advantages, including financial assistance with Medicaid costs, additional Medicare benefits and extra tax breaks for some residents. Republicans point out that these advantages will shift some of the costs of the plan to other states, including Kansas. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, has been instrumental in adding in…
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Pachyderms to host panel on Republican Party’s future

At this Friday's meeting of the Wichita Pachyderm Club, the topic is “What does the Republican Party have to look like to be successful in 2010?” This meeting will feature a panel of Kelly Arnold: Sedgwick County Republican Party Chair Jason Watkins: State Representative for 105th district Dave Trabert: President of the Flint Hills Center for Public Policy Derrick Sontag: Kansas State Director Americans for Prosperity. The moderator will be John Todd, Vice President, Wichita Pachyderm Club. Each panelist will be asked to make a 2 to 3 minute introductory comment, followed by group discussion with the audience. All are…
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Lawrence Journal-World headline doesn’t deliver

Yesterday's edition of the Lawrence Journal-World has the headline ‘Buried treasure’ claims debunked. The headline and article refer to a report issued by the Flint Hills Center for Public Policy and covered in my post Kansas funds have large, unneeded balances. The dictionary says that "debunk" means "to expose the sham or falseness of." The article doesn't come anywhere near fulfilling this promise. The article is based on a quotation from Kansas state budget director Duane Goossen: “The key point that I would make is that while the report uses the word ‘unencumbered,’ and seems to suggest that that means…
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Clarifications to Kansas unencumbered fund balances report

Last week the Flint Hills Center for Public Policy released a groundbreaking research report detailing the several billion dollars hidden away in Kansas state government funds. My reporting on this, along with links to the study document, is at Kansas funds have large, unneeded balances. There's been a bit of pushback. Some officials have said they simply don't believe the research. Others quibble over definitions of terms and have said -- perhaps mistakenly -- that there are more restrictions on specific fund balances than are actually in effect. Dave Trabert, president of the Flint Hills Center, has released the following…
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Kansas funds have large, unneeded balances

Yesterday the Flint Hills Center for Public Policy released research that shows that the state of Kansas has large unencumbered balances, representing excess funds needlessly collected from Kansans in the form of taxes and fees. The numbers are staggering, with over 1,600 state funds holding between $2 billion and $3 billion in excess balances, depending on the method used to determine reasonable balances. The report, titled "Analysis of State Unencumbered Fund Balances in Kansas" was prepared by the accounting firm Anderson, Reichert & Anderson. The author, Steven J. Anderson, has extensive experience in government and its accounting. The report may…
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Public effort should benefit all taxpayers, not a select few

The following article by Dave Trabert, president of the Flint Hills Center for Public Policy, was printed in yesterday's Wichita Eagle. Trabert makes the case for broad-based policies that will benefit all companies, not just those who happen to qualify for government economic development programs. A specific example of a small business struggling but not qualifying for assistance was presented by Steve Compton, owner of the Eaton Steakhouse in Wichita. In February he spoke to the Wichita City Council and explained the difficulties his business is facing. He asked the council to consider small businesses just as much as large…
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Kansas open records examined

Here's another outstanding investigative report by Paul Soutar of the Flint Hills Center for Public Policy. I have experienced some of the same obstacles that Soutar has encountered. Last year Wichita school district board member Lynn Rogers told me that record requests are a burden. Interim superintendent Martin Libhart's attitude was similarly hostile towards legitimate citizen requests for records. Indications are that new board president Barb Fuller and new superintendent John Allison have a better attitude towards records requests, and I hope that time proves this to be the case. The spirit is willing but the law is weak Paul…
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Flint Hills Center adds more staff

In the following press release, Wichita's Flint Hills Center for Public Policy announces yet another addition to their staff. Under the leadership of its president Dave Trabert, the Flint Hills Center has added several talented people to its staff in just the past few months. I've not met Ms. Harris, the subject of this press release. When I do meet her, since she's a graduate of George Mason University, I need to ask her if she knows Walter Williams, who is a hero of mine. (Wichita) -- Grace Harris has been named Government Transparency / Operations Manager at the Flint…
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