News Articles

January 1, 2015

In 2008, Kansas’ state aid for schools was reaching new heights.

Pushed by a court ruling a few years earlier, the Legislature had raised funding by hundreds of millions of dollars, part of a three-year phase-in.

November 20, 2014

Kansas Democrats have launched an online petition to “Fire Ray Merrick” after the Kansas Speaker of the House was quoted recently saying, “Govern-ment employees produce nothing.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, 1,546 people had gone to and signed the petition. The goal is to reach 3,600 – or about one-tenth of the over 36,000 Kansas state employees.

September 26, 2014

Kansas is the ninth state to sign on with the Health Care Compact Bill, granting these states the right to avoid federal health care regulations.The primary targets are Medicare and Medicaid, the tandem programs providing health benefits for all 65+ persons, disabled and low income. Currently, Congress will still need to authorize the Compact Bill in the next federal legislative session before it becomes law.

August 4, 2014

When it comes to campaign funds, Gov. Sam Brownback's wingman has come in handy.

Twice, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer has produced a sizable loan to improve the appearance of Brownback's campaign finance status and related support.

On Dec. 31, 2013, Colyer loaned the governor's campaign $500,000 just before a campaign finance filing deadline. Brownback and Colyer called the loan a commitment to a better future for Kansas children, and a way to help the governor take his message to voters.

May 14, 2014

One can fault Kansas regulators for giving U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins permission to continue to identify herself in her congressional and campaign literature as a certified public accountant, even though she ceased being one when her certification expired in 2012.

It has the look of a favor, the sort of favor regulators ought to know better than to grant. That’s true even though Rep. Jenkins agreed not to perform the duties of a CPA.

May 2, 2014

You learn something new every day.

Last week, I learned the Lawrence Arts Center has a back door.

Who knew?  Well, apparently Gov. Sam Brownback, when he came to talk to this year’s Leadership Kansas class.

This was a mundane presentation, without any news value. What did make news was the governor’s tactical entrance and exit, via an alley and the Art Center’s back door. 

April 29, 2014

In a post Friday on the Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” blog, writer Glenn Kessler called out Rep. Tim Huelskamp for spreading false and misleading information about health care coverage in Kansas.

“There are more folks uninsured today in our district, we believe, than were uninsured before Obamacare kicked in,” Huelskamp had stated at the April 17 Town Hall meeting in Hays. Huelskamp has made this claim at other town hall meetings.

Kessler criticized Huelskamp for making statements that were not supported by any facts.

April 23, 2014

Movement toward the middle — rather than the radical ends of the political spectrum — is a likely outcome this election year at both the state and national level, following years of relative impasse on issues of importance to Kansans and Americans.

April 12, 2014

Because the Kansas Supreme Court did not instruct legislators last month precisely how much additional funding it would take to ensure adequate public education -- opting instead to let a lower court figure it out -- lawmakers are ignoring that part of the ruling.

April 10, 2014

Seriously ... what’s the matter with Kansas?

The Kansas House of Representatives passed a bill with bi-partisan support Friday that addressed inequities in school funding as needed to satisfy a March 7 ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court. The 91-31 vote was focused on solving the funding problem and was praised by both Gov. Sam Brownback and Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis, which is a feat. State Rep. Blaine Finch, R-Ottawa, helped bridge the gap with votes for the bi-partisan bill, however, what happened next is where things went awry with parliamentary games and procedural shenanigans.

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