Kansas state government

Articles about Kansas, its government, and public policy in Kansas.

Why I Voted Against the Amendment

On April 5, 2005, the State of Kansas voted on an amendment to our constitution. The amendment would prohibit same-sex marriage. I voted against this amendment. I don't think we want a government that cares who we decide to marry. Before the election, The Wichita Eagle published a list of over 1,000 benefits that arise from marriage. This list alone, outside the context of the controversy over gay marriage, shows just how intrusive government at all levels is. Even if we agree that marriage is a good thing, it doesn't follow that we want a government to practically force it…
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Untold and Under Reported Stories From the Kansas Special Session: Part II

Thank you, Karl, for this insight into the character of our leading Kansas politicians, and for another example of how Kansas newspapers and other news media aren't giving us the information we need. Untold and Under Reported Stories From the Kansas Special Session: Part II By Karl Peterjohn, Executive Director, Kansas Taxpayers Network Early in the special session of the Kansas legislature the house speaker, Representative Doug Mays, R-Topeka, spoke one-on-one with Governor Sebelius. Following this conversation Rep. Mays relayed his discussion with the governor to his house GOP caucus as he laid out a variety of public policy options…
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Governor Claims Growth While Jobs Disappear

Governor Claims Growth While Jobs Disappear By Karl Peterjohn, Executive Director Kansas Taxpayers Network Governor Sebelius' press office issued a news release headlined, "Kansas economy continues to grow under Governor's leadership," August 4. The same day the Wichita Eagle headlined the layoffs in Winfield as 1/3 of the 600 employees at Rubbermaid Inc. were laid off. Is the Kansas economy growing or are the layoffs plaguing the private sector in Kansas aberrations? Recently, the Kansas branch of Americans for Prosperity has been reporting that for every new state and local government jobs that have been created in Kansas in the…
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The ethics case against Justice Lawton R. Nuss

I have filed an ethics complaint with the Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications against Kansas Supreme Court Justice Lawton R. Nuss. I happen to disagree with the ruling the Kansas Supreme Court made in the case cited in my complaint. I have been asked whether I would have filed the same complaint if I had agreed with the court's ruling. The answer to that question is probably not. My level of interest would probably not be what it is. That troubles me, as we as citizens need to be watchful for these types of judicial transgressions, no matter what our…
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Untold and Under Reported Stories From the Kansas Special Session

KANSAS TAXPAYERS NETWORK P.O. Box 20050 Wichita, KS 67208 316-684-0082 FAX 316-684-7527 www.kansastaxpayers.com July 19, 2005 Untold and Under Reported Stories From the Kansas Special Session By Karl Peterjohn The Kansas legislature abjectly surrendered their fiscal powers to the demands of the Kansas Supreme Court at the end of their special session in July. This victory for this liberal activist court and Governor Sebelius has generated a lot of news articles and positive editorial commentary for all of them in the Kansas press. Sadly, a significant part of the story behind this constitutional and spending battle has either been totally…
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The wrong canon; the wrong Allegrucci

In May 2005, Karl Peterjohn, Executive Director of the Kansas Taxpayers Network, wrote an editorial that explained how Kansas Supreme Court Justice Donald L. Allegrucci needed to recuse himself from matters involving the Kansas school finance lawsuit. That's because his wife, Joyce Allegrucci, is Governor Kathleen Sebelius's chief of staff, and the governor has taken a public position on the case. After reading Peterjohn's editorial, I decided that more action was necessary. I found out that the Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications might be a forum that could deal with ethical lapses like Justice Allegrucci's. I filed a complaint against…
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Report from Topeka, July 3, 2005

Thanks again for this report from Karl Peterjohn, Executive Director Kansas Taxpayers Network It was a hard, long slog for the 11 days of the Kansas legislative session that began June 22. Using the phrase, "hard, long slog," is one that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had used in describing the war in Iraq. The hard, long slog of the Kansas constitutional crisis continues with a break for legislators until Wednesday July 6. By then, the final FY 2005 revenue figures should be in. Yet there is a phrase from the Vietnam war that is quite descriptive for the situation…
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Report from Topeka, July 2, 2005

Thanks again for this report from Karl Peterjohn, Executive Director Kansas Taxpayers Network The Kansas constitutional crisis expanded Saturday afternoon as the Kansas Supreme Court issued their latest school finance edict that threatened to shut down the public schools in this state because the legislature is not behaving properly under the court's instructions. This is a sad day for the people of Kansas and their elected representatives when the appointed officials on this court, including apparently (the order was only signed by the chief justice and no other members of the court) two justices who have conflicts of interest in…
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Report from Topeka, July 1, 2005

Thank you again, Karl Peterjohn of the Kansas Taxpayers Network, for your insights into the Kansas Legislature's special session. The Kansas house begins their 10:30 AM session with a constitutional amendment to reassert their fiscal powers in a key vote for this special session. Last Sunday a similar amendment failed getting only 73 of the 84 (2/3) votes needed to be submitted to voters. Yesterday's house vote on school finance tied the $140 million in additional funding to the passage of an amendment in the constitutional battle between the court and the other two branches of Kansas government. Yesterday, the…
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Americans for Prosperity Statement on the Current Special Session

Americans for Prosperity Statement on the Current Special SessionJune 29, 2005 "Americans for Prosperity -- Kansas is pleased that both legislative leaders and Governor Sebelius have ruled out tax increases on Kansas families and businesses as a way to meet the recent Supreme Court ruling. The tax burden on Kansans is already too high and combined with the private sector job losses it is clear that a tax increase would be not in the long term interests of our state. After the misguided tax increase effort of 2004 and the initial call in some quarters this year for a tax…
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Report from Topeka, June 30, 2005

Thank you again, Karl Peterjohn of the Kansas Taxpayers Network, for your insights into the Kansas Legislature's special session. The Kansas house passed on a 64-to-59 vote a school spending plan that is contingent on the court not removing any parts of this plan and the voters getting their hands on a constitutional amendment to reaffirm the legislature's fiscal authority. This bill, house substitute for SB 3 goes to the senate for either concurrence or conference committee. The house is scheduled to take up a constitutional amendment but that won't occur until 2 PM at the earliest. The senate will…
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Report from Topeka, June 29, 2005 (afternoon edition)

A second report for today from Karl Peterjohn of the Kansas Taxpayers Network. The senate Republicans have weighed in and made a significant impact today. A majority of the GOP Senate caucus met with their leadership and made it clear that they would not be involved in other votes on school finance until the constitutional amendment protecting legislative powers issue is resolved. This is important for a number of reasons. It is a message to the Senate President Steve Morris and the rest of the leadership that their positions are in some jeopardy without keeping a majority of the GOP…
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Report from Topeka, June 29, 2005

Thank you again, Karl Peterjohn of the Kansas Taxpayers Network, for your insights into the Kansas Legislature's special session. The legislative special session is going to reach a crucial turning point today at the Kansas statehouse. A group of tax and spend Republicans, lead by Rep. Ward Loyd, Rino-Garden City met with Governor Sebelius and received her blessing for a $161 million school finance spending bill that will be debated and voted upon in the Kansas house today. Last year, Loyd begged Democrats to re-register before the August primary so they could vote for him in his tough primary race.…
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Report from Topeka, June 28, 2005

Thank you, Karl Peterjohn, Executive Director of Kansas Taxpayers Network. Here's a legislative update from Topeka as of noon Tuesday. A proposal to raise income and sales taxes has appeared now that the gambling measures are unable to pass out of the Kansas senate in the on going battle over judicial interference with the legislature and school finance in this state. The house is working on two tracks: the federal and state affairs committee is working on a constitutional amendment that would provide specific boundaries to protect the legislature's appropriation powers. The second track is a supplemental appropriations bill. The…
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Report from Topeka, June 24, 2005

Thank you again, Karl Peterjohn of the Kansas Taxpayers Network The $160.7 million school spending bill approved by the Kansas senate yesterday passed with the votes of all 10 senate Democrats and 15 GOP tax 'n spenders. These legislators were also willing to surrender their constitutional and budget authority to the six appointed members of the Kansas Supreme Court. Here is the list in alphabetical order: Pat Apple, R; Jim Barone, D; Don Betts, D; Pete Brungardt, R; Jay Emler, R; Marci Francisco, D; Mark Gilstrap, D; Greta Goodwin, D; David Haley, D; Tony Hensley, D Minority Leader; Laura Kelly,…
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Report from Topeka, June 23, 2005

Writing from a rest stop on Interstate 80 in Iowa where there is free wireless Internet access: Thank you again, Karl Peterjohn of the Kansas Taxpayers Network, for your insights into the Kansas Legislature's special session. The Kansas senate begin surrendering their legislative powers to the Kansas Supreme Court when a 25-to-14 majority approved a $160 million school spending bill. This surrender took the form of the supreme court may want $143 million but we'll show them with a $160 million! Take that, Kansas Supreme Court! Next for the senate is gambling and that wrangling will take quite a while.…
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Report from Topeka, June 22, 2005

Here's a report on the special session of the Kansas Legislature from Karl Peterjohn, Executive Director of the Kansas Taxpayers Network. Thanks to Karl for his fine reporting and commentary. Here's the start of a blog for KTN and any other quality Kansas sites interested in this state's fiscal crisis thanks to our left-wing, prejudiced Kansas supreme court. For the details on the court's conflicts of interest see the recent KTN editorial column discussing Justice Nuss and Justice Allegrucci's need to recuse themselves in the school finance litigation. The house is likely done for the day (June 22) with all…
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How children lose in the Kansas Legislature’s special session

USD 259 (Wichita) public schools superintendent Winston Brooks plans to use the majority of the anticipated increase in school funding to reduce class size. Evidence cited in other articles on this website show that smaller class sizes don't produce better educational outcomes for students. Because the conventional wisdom is that smaller class sizes are good for students, the extra money and smaller class sizes will be saluted as a victory for the children. Editorial writers, school administrators, teachers, and those who don't care to confront facts will thank the Kansas Supreme Court and Kansas Legislature for saving the children. The…
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The cthics case against Justice Donald L. Allegrucci

I have filed an ethics complaint against Kansas Supreme Court Justice Donald L. Allegrucci. This complaint is on the agenda of the July 1, 2005 meeting of the Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications. I happen to disagree with the ruling the Kansas Supreme Court made in the case cited in my complaint. I have been asked whether I would have filed the same complaint if I had agreed with the court's ruling. The answer to that question is probably not. My level of interest would probably not be what it is. That troubles me, as we as citizens need to…
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What’s the Matter with Kansas?

By Alan Cobb, State Director of Americans For Prosperity, Kansas Many would describe that much of Kansas is in decline. Over 75 percent of the counties in Kansas have lost population just since 2000. Over half of Kansas' counties have fewer residents today than 1900. Recently, the Associated Press reported that Kansas is in real danger of losing a Congressional seat during the next reapportionment because of anemic population growth. Kansas population growth from 2000 to 2004 was only 1.7 percent while the nation as a whole grew 4.3 percent. Sedgwick County's growth was only 2.3% during this time. Kansas'…
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