Tag: Smoking bans

Kansas state government

Kansas fiscal policy is stifling the state’s economy

Dave Trabert of Kansas Policy Institute explains that Kansas economic policies are leading to the growth of government at the expense of private sector economic activity. Separately, KPI released figures showing that it will be very difficult for the state to meet the revenue projections made for the current fiscal year, which ends on June 30, 2011. Kansas tax collections in March were below projections, meaning even more trouble balancing the current year budget. State Fiscal Policy is Stifling the Kansas Economy By Dave Trabert, Kansas Policy Institute. Kansas' fiscal policy has stifled the state's economy for more than a decade and the effects are now being severely felt. Policy debates are often thought of in terms of party identification but the dividing line in Kansas is about...
Quick takes

Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Thursday November 4, 2010

The future of politics is here, now. After noting how California reached way back to the past to elect a governor, Denis Boyles writes in National Review Online about the future, and how it's being made right here: "If you want to see the bright and shining politics of the future, you have to go to the country’s heartland, and specifically to Kansas, a place most Democrats only know from Thomas Frank’s liberal folklore. There, the election has yielded two new congressmen -- Mike Pompeo and the remarkable Tim Huelskamp -- who were not created by the Tea Party movement because their politics were already ahead of that helpful wave. Here‘s a local paper’s coverage. Pompeo is a natural leader, while Huelskamp is something even more -- an inspiration, maybe. (He’s briefly sketched in Superior, ...
Quick takes

Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Thursday October 28, 2010

Final fourth district forum. Last night's debate or forum between all four candidates running for the Kansas fourth Congressional district was the last such event before Election Day. Hosted by KSN Television and moderated by John Snyder, all four candidates appeared: Reform Party candidate Susan Ducey, Democrat Raj Goyle, Republican Mike Pompeo, and Libertarian Shawn Smith. Goyle used almost every question as an opportunity to launch an attack on Pompeo, particularly on the issue of outsourcing of jobs. No dummy -- he did go to Harvard law school, after all (so did Pompeo) -- Goyle used some clever and creative license to morph nearly every question into these attacks. Pompeo largely ignored Goyle's attacks but still got in a few digs at him. ... Ducey and Smith kept to their principled a...
Politics

Kansas news digest

News from alternative media around Kansas for June 25, 2010. Public sector grows along with KPERS dependency (Kansas Liberty) "Between April 2008 and April 2010, the private sector in Kansas has experienced an overall loss in jobs of approximately 5.89 percent, while the public sector has experienced an overall gain in employment of approximately .83 percent. ... As the public sector and its salaries continue to grow, so does the dependence on the state’s pension plan, KPERS." Kansas working toward implementing aspect of Obamacare (Kansas Liberty) "The Kansas Department of Insurance is working with the federal government to create a temporary high-risk insurance pool, in accordance with regulations set forth by the new federal health-care law. High-risk insurance pools are desi...
Kansas state government

Kansas smoking ban opponents meet in Wichita

A group primarily composed of business owners met in Wichita on Thursday to discuss the recently passed Kansas smoking ban and what might be done to overturn it or mitigate its damage to business. Phillip Bradley of Kansas Licensed Beverage Association briefed the group on the current status of the smoking ban and what types of action might be possible in the future. Bradley told the group that it's nearly impossible to get a new bill through the Kansas Legislature at this time. The greatest chance for action is to have an amendment added to a bill that's already in conference. He mentioned SB 454 as a possibility, adding that it's being made into a "Christmas tree," meaning that many interests are attempting to add to the bill. There are three issues related to the smoking ban th...
Kansas state government

Kansas governor to face smoking ban protesters in Salina

A group of citizens who don't agree with Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson's decision to sign the statewide smoking ban bill is planning a protest in Salina. The governor will sign the smoking ban bill on Monday at 3:30 pm at the Salina Public Library. It's a ceremonial signing, as the actual bill was signed earlier today.
Kansas state government

Wichita legislative forum highlights differences in approach to government spending

Yesterday over 200 people packed a room at Wichita State University to attend a forum of Wichita-area Kansas state legislators. The meeting was chaired by Representative Steve Brunk, a Republican who represents Bel Aire and parts of far northeast Wichita. One of the topics underlying much of the meeting was the subject of tax cuts to business. Proponents of government spending say the state has given up too much revenue by granting tax cuts. Sometimes, in case of the business franchise tax, the state levies a tax simply for existing. This tax is being phased out over a five-year period starting in 2007. Government spending interests -- including Governor Mark Parkinson -- want to reinstate this tax, however. There are sometimes disagreements as to what a "cut" means. In his openin...
Politics

Kansas news digest

News from alternative media around Kansas for March 5, 2010. Teacher Tenure Under Review In Effort to Reduce School Costs (State of the State KS) "A House committee heard testimony on a bill Wednesday that would lengthen the period of time public school teachers must work to five years before eligible for tenure." KPERS Committee Considers Early Retirement for Employees To Save Money (State of the State KS) "The House KPERS committee considered a bill Tuesday that would encourage early retirement for some government workers to save costs." Kansas Democrats Focus on 2010 Elections at Washington Days (State of the State KS) "Kansas Democrats gathered to celebrate and campaign at Friday and Saturday’s Washington Days in Topeka." Smoking ban proponents pull out bag of tr...
Kansas state government

AFP-Kansas launches website about tobacco taxes

Following is a press release from Americans for Prosperity, Kansas chapter. TOPEKA, KAN. – The Kansas chapter of the grassroots group Americans for Prosperity is working to educate Kansans on the effects of tobacco tax increases on Kansas businesses by creating a new Web site, StopTheWarOnSmokers.Com. Gov. Mark Parkinson last month proposed a cigarette tax increase of 55 cents per pack, raising the rate from its current 79 cents per pack to $1.34 per pack. “History has shown us that raising the cigarette tax has not increased the revenues coming into the state over the long run,” said AFP-Kansas state director Derrick Sontag. “There may be an initial boost, but with nearby states like Missouri only adding a 17-cent tax per pack, more Kansas smokers are likely to cross the state li...
Politics

Kansas news digest

News from alternative media around Kansas for February 22, 2010. Proponents of bill want to force 'charity' (Kansas Liberty) "Kansas hospitals say they have been stepping up to the plate and helping individuals with their health bills, but left-wing organizations say the goodwill assistance needs to be required by law." Senate kills attempt to abolish death penalty (Kansas Liberty) "The Kansas Senate deliberated today for several hours on whether to repeal the state's death penalty. Much of the debate focused on how legislators’ religion played into their decision to either support or oppose the legislation and whether the families of victims sought the death penalty for offenders." Unelected SOS to make crucial appointment in 2010 (Kansas Liberty) "Because of the timing ...
Kansas state government

Smoking ban advocate says some claims just smoke

In Kansas, accurate information is sometimes in short supply when talking about smoking bans. From Kansas Watchdog: Opponents to a statewide total smoking ban say anti-tobacco advocates are playing a little loose with their facts. They have an unlikely ally in Michael Siegel, a medical doctor and professor of community health sciences at Boston University’s School of Public Health. He's a long-standing anti-tobacco advocate, a proponent of smoking bans and a strong critic of bad science. In a story published Feb. 18 on his weblog, "The rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary," Seigel wrote, "It is irresponsible to disseminate conclusions that are not supported by any scientific evidence, especially if that information will be used to infringe upon the freedom, auto...
Politics

Kansas news digest

News from alternative media around Kansas for February 16, 2010. Supreme Court denies motion to reopen Montoy case (Kansas Liberty) "The Kansas Supreme Court decided today that it would not be reopening the Montoy school funding case. ... Reopening the Montoy case would have saved the districts a significant amount of time and money." Committee considers school consolidation (Kansas Liberty) "Small district complains that community economically relies on schools, Representative says towns should not solely rely on taxpayer dollars to function." Groups launch government transparency Web page (Kansas Liberty) "Americans for Prosperity and the Kansas Policy Institute have teamed up to provide an online transparency tool that will allow Kansas residents to see exactly how the...
Regulation

An inept Kansas smoking analogy

From last March. In today's Wichita Eagle, Wichita busybody Charlie Claycomb makes another inept analogy in an attempt to press his anti-smoking agenda statewide. A while back he tried to compare a smoking section in a restaurant with a urinating section in a swimming pool. This is ridiculous to the extreme, as I show in the post It’s not the same as pee in the swimming pool. Now in today's letter in the Eagle, Claycomb says that although the United States Constitution gives us the right to bear arms, since that right is heavily regulated, government has license to regulate smoking, as smoking isn't mentioned at all in the Constitution. Here's why this is another ridiculous analogy (without conceding whether the regulations on arms are justified or effective): A person in, say...
Regulation

It’s not the same as pee in the swimming pool

A repeat of a column from 2008. Mark McCormick no longer writes for the Wichita Eagle. Recently that newspaper concluded that because Wichita's smoking ban caused no economic harm, it was a good thing to do. Let's hope this regulatory zeal doesn't spread to other areas. In a column in the February 27, 2008 Wichita Eagle ("Smoking ban issue not one to negotiate"), columnist Mark McCormick quotes Charlie Claycomb, co-chair of Tobacco Free Wichita, equating a smoking section in a restaurant with "a urinating section in a swimming pool." This is a ridiculous comparison. A person can't tell upon entering a swimming pool if someone has urinated in it. But people can easily tell upon entering a restaurant or bar if people are smoking. Besides this, Mr. McCormick's article seeks to explai...
Regulation

Kansas can’t afford a cigarette tax hike

This is a repost from 2008. The issues are the same, except this time it is Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson recommending an increase in cigarette taxes, and it is $.55 per pack instead of $.75. Research & Commentary: Kansas Can't Afford A Cigarette Tax Hike By John Nothdurft, Legislative Specialist at The Heartland Institute The Kansas Health Policy Authority's recommendation to use a 75-cent cigarette tax increase to pay for health costs should be worrisome -- not only to smokers, but also to non-smokers and fiscally responsible legislators as well. The approach may seem appealing at first, but such tax increases are notoriously unpredictable and regressive. Funding a high-profile need such as health care with a cigarette tax increase is particularly hazardous because it ties an ...
Regulation

Smoking is healthier than fascism

There's a Facebook group named Vote NO on Statewide Smoking Ban (Smoking is healthier than fascism). Started by Wichita activist Wendy Aylworth, the description of the group starts with the rallying cry "We must stop this tyranny of the majority!" Yes, we must. I'm tempted to tell you -- like many people do when discussing matters of public policy -- whether I smoke cigarettes. But does that matter? It shouldn't, because if it does, we shift the basis of policy decisions from "what is right and just and promotes freedom and liberty" to "what is my personal preference." And there's too much of that going on. Smoking bans are only the start of increased government regulation of more and more aspects of our lives. These things can backfire. As government control becomes more perv...
Regulation

The myth of the smoking ban ‘miracle’

Supporters of comprehensive bans on smoking often point to research findings that heart attacks decrease when smoking bans are implemented. But is this true? Christopher Snowdon reports in Spiked online: Tales of heart attacks being "slashed" by smoking bans have appeared with such regularity in recent years that it is easy to forget that there is a conspicuous lack of reliable evidence to support them. It is almost as if the sheer number of column inches is a substitute for proof. Later on he concludes: What is abundantly clear in each case is that the number of heart attack admissions has been falling for some time. Far from causing further dramatic cuts in heart attack rates, the bans had no discernible effect. If we're going to cite public health as a reason for smoking ban...
Kansas state government

Kansas governor proposes taxes, smoking ban, green energy projects

Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson's State of the State address Monday proposed two new taxes, a comprehensive statewide smoking ban, and a cabinet team to promote green energy projects. He didn't propose closing tax exemptions, and he made no mention of an available method that could help Kansas make it through a fiscal shortfall. The complete text of the governor's address, as prepared for delivery, is available at Protecting What We Have, Building for the Future. What's missing from the governor's address is recognition that the state is sitting on hundreds of millions of unused cash that could be tapped to get the state through a tough spot. The Kansas Policy Institute has performed research and analysis that indicates that by spending down these fund balances, Kansas schools and age...
Kansas state government

Wichita-area legislators hear a variety of issues

Last night, members of the South-central Kansas legislative delegation heard from citizens in a meeting at the Sedgwick County Courthouse. The 2010 Kansas legislative session starts next week. Greg Dye of Wichita spoke on the Bank of North Dakota. He says that Kansas should have such a state bank, which would require an amendment to the Kansas Constitution. He also said that states should seek to remove themselves from the control of the Federal Reserve Bank. Several speakers, including Wichitan Mark Gietzen, who is president of the Kansas Coalition for Life, asked legislators to cut funding to Planned Parenthood. He thanked legislators for passing such a law, and said it was unfortunate that the governor vetoed that bill. He said that Planned Parenthood has plenty of funds, and taxp...
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