Education: Lion or sacrificial lamb?

The Kansas Legislature returns to work next Monday. It bears repeating that they have accomplished very little since January on the three biggest issues before them: the billon dollar revenue crater ahead of us, the July 1 deadline to create a constitutional school funding plan, and the hundred thousand Kansas who cannot get health care. They will have to cram all of that in now.

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Keep at it

With the Kansas Legislature still on break (they return May 1) the state house news may be slow, but outside of Topeka, there are plenty of opportunities to stay connected and get involved.

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Only halfway through at the end

The Kansas Legislature has gone home for their "Spring break," and will return on May 1 for what is usually the "veto session," a time designated for debating any veto the Governor has made to legislation completed in the regular session. Unfortunately, the Kansas Legislature has left town with almost nothing accomplished. No tax reform. No budget. No school finance plan. No solution to the $1 billion revenue crater facing Kansas.

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Why a flat tax is NOT a fair tax

In the Kansas Legislature this week, there has been a lot of noise about "fixing" the state's revenue problem with a flat tax bill. Because, the extremist argument goes, a flat tax is a fair tax!

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Compassion demands KanCare expansion

Last week, the Kansas Legislature passed the Medicaid expansion bill. Medicaid in Kansas is known as KanCare, and has been managed by the Brownback administration since the advent of the Affordable Care Act. Patients, doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies have all complained. One surefire way to improve things would be to take advantage of the ACA's provision for expansion of Medicaid coverage. But Governor Brownback and a few stalwart allies in the Legislature have refused, turning down billions of dollars in Federal funding.

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ALERT - KanCare override in the balance!

The Governor overrode the Legislature's passage of KanCare expansion with his now tired excuses about coverage limits and not enough money. These arguments have been proven false. Call or email your legislators now to urge their backing of an override on HB 2044.

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In Defense of Public Schools

With KanCare expansion waiting last week to see what the Feds did (nothing, as it turned out!) and budget/tax negotiations stalled under their own weight, last week was the opportunity for the Kansas Legislature to work on a school finance bill that would meet Constitutional muster. MainStream has already testified in favor of HB 2270, a bill crafted over the past six months, with input from communities and schools, based on proven ideas.

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2017 Mid-Session Report - Guns

tl;dr Repeal of campus carry is still possible, but may have to come as an amendment to other bills. Watch the Kansas House. Email your legislators!

This 2017 legislative session has had a lot of gun-related legislation proposed and debated. Here is the gist of what is happening.

But first, we encourage you to contact your Kansas state legislators to let them know you oppose further loosening of gun safety measures, and support returning control of firearm ordinances to local communities.

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Testimony opposing HB 2410, a school finance bill

This is MainStream's written testimony opposing HB 2410, a bill to finance public schools that does not meet our requirements to fun an excellent education for all Kansas children. We also delivered oral testimony at the hearing today. You can download a copy of our testimony here.

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Whither the Kansas Budget?

If there's one topic in the Kansas Legislature sure to make the average voter's eyes roll back into their head, it is the ongoing Kansas budget negotiations. But as we all know, the Kansas budget—and related tax policy—is also the single most important topic in the Kansas Legislature today. The revenue disaster of the last five years has caused or made worse the crisis in public education funding, infrastructure improvements, and medical care in Kansas.

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