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Posts tagged as “Flint Hills Center for Public Policy”

‘Kansas Reporter’ launched

This week the Kansas Policy Institute announced the launch of KansasReporter, a new 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.

Kansas news digest

News from alternative media around Kansas for October 26, 2009.

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.

Kansas funds have large, unneeded balances

The Flint Hills Center for Public Policy has 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.

Public effort should benefit all taxpayers, not a select few

A recent Wichita Eagle commentary by Doug Stanley, vice chairman of the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition, made the case for government to invest taxpayer money in developing "shovel-ready" sites to attract a wide range of new employers, especially large industrial and manufacturing companies. He says consultants who work with large employers on site selection give preference to communities that have made the upfront investment to save them time and obviously, a lot of money.

Kansas open records examined

Government transparency in Kansas is determined largely by open records and open meetings laws which state lofty goals but offer many loopholes and exemptions and few penalties for violations of the laws.

The Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) starts off well. "It is declared to be the public policy of the state that public records shall be open for inspection by any person unless otherwise provided by this act, and this act shall be liberally construed and applied to promote such policy."

Flint Hills Center adds more staff

Grace Harris has been named Government Transparency / Operations Manager at the Flint Hills Center for Public Policy. Harris will lead government transparency projects which will make government data more available to Kansans. Along with government transparency, Harris will organize day-to-day operations for Flint Hills.

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