Annual Primary Election Day 2017

Kansas now holds primary elections every year on the first Tuesday in August, and every year on the first Tuesday in November after the second Monday (don't ask, this is how it has been forever). Your annual Primary Election Day is coming up on August 1st, 2017, and it is time to get out and vote.

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Education is THE issue

Here at MainStream, we concern ourselves with a lot of issues. Our mission is to advocate for good governance, quality public education, healthy communities, and sustainable fiscal policies. That's a broad swath, and sometimes it can feel like we're swimming upstream. This last year saw a lot of gains in these areas, but one issue, one particular aspect of all we cover, is so central to the well being of ALL Kansans, that we come back to it again and again.

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Annual Primary Election Day

Primary elections are coming up in Kansas, on August 1st. That's just two weeks away! You should vote in these primaries. In fact, you should vote in every election. You should vote early, by mail or in person. Or as we like to joke, "Vote early, and often! (as often as you are allowed by law)"

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Being healthy is a human right

We generally keep our focus on Kansas, on the statewide politics that happen in Topeka, that affect all Kansans. But when the occasion warrants, we will take on national issues, especially if they affect our state and communities directly. The American Health Care Act (AHCA) stumbling its way through Congress is one such issue.

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Celebrate

On this Independence Day, we urge you to celebrate what it means to live in the United States, where we still believe in helping those who need it, in standing against oppression, and in the unassailable strength of diversity in the face of tyranny. The peoples that stood against King George came from different cultures, languages, and religions. The Continental Army was made up of different nationalities, beliefs, and traditions. And yet, they formed a greater union that has stood the test of time for more than two hundred years.

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Historic legislative session is done

Today is sine die in the Kansas Legislature, the last day of the session. Scheduled "at a convenient date" after the final adjournment, it can be largely ceremonial, though it also allows for any final veto override attempts. Today turned out to be largely ceremonial, as the Kansas Senate adjourned with little fanfare, leaving the House no avenue to override the Governor's last minute vetoes.

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This is what it's all about

On Saturday, we had over 500 people gather in downtown Overland Park for Walk the Vote, our event to kickstart the 2018 elections. That's right, more than year from the those elections, 500 people got up, got out, raised money and marched to keep the momentum going in Kansas. We could go on about how many people were there, and about how much money we raised, but that would bury the real story here.

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Time to Walk the Walk

Everyone knows that 2018 will be a critical year in the future of our country. In Kansas too, it will be pivotal. All the gains we made this session will hang in the balance. Will we elect a new Governor like Kris Kobach, who will double down on ultra conservative policies? Will we hold the legislative seats we won in 2016? Will we send more help, so that good bills aren't held hostage to the veto or the "Truth Caucus?"

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Kansas Needs Comprehensive Tax Reform

Today’s guest post is brought to you by Heidi Holliday, Executive Director of Kansas Center for Economic Growth.

Today is Day 108 in the Kansas Legislature. After a weekend of stop and go action on budget, school finance, and tax plans, the Legislature is starting the sixth week of the veto session having yet to resolve these three crucial issues.

Yesterday, members of the House K-12 Education Budget and Senate Select Committee on Education Finance Conference Committee reviewed a proposal to bundle an income tax bill into the school finance bill. The proposal also included a “trailer”, or companion, bill that was sent to Tax Conference Committee to address credits, deductions, and some economic development policy components.

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Moving Past the Impasse of School Finance

Today’s guest post is brought to you by David Smith, MainStream Coalition Board Member and Chief of Public Affairs for the Kansas City, Kansas Public School District.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 was the 100th day of the 2017 Kansas Legislative Session (the last day that was budgeted for in the 2017 session.) Interestingly, it was also the last day of school for the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. And with the failure of the Kansas Legislature to pass a new school funding formula that meets the constitutional test for adequacy, a budget for either FY 18 or FY 19, or a tax reform package that provide sufficient resources to fund either the new formula or the state budget after June 30, 2017, our district and districts across the state are left in a state of suspended animation. School districts do not know what their budget for next year will be, nor do they know if the Legislature will pass (and the Governor will sign) a constitutional funding formula which will allow them to continue to operate after June 30, 2017.

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