The Legislature has one job left

Tomorrow, June 1st, is "Sine Die" in the Kansas Legislature. In Latin, it means "without a day," and in terms of the Legislature, it indicates the last day of a session, adjourning without a day for a planned return. Usually a formality, and sparsely attended, this year the Legislature will attempt some posturing on transgender bathrooms. Already we have reports that they will not address the biggest issue before the state, constitutional funding of our public schools.

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How did your legislators vote?

Our official vote count is here. We have included just a fraction of the bills the Kansas Legislature worked in this and previous years, and then only the ones where they actually took votes. So while bills to consolidate school districts or criminalizing sex education are not represented, because, thankfully, they never actually got to the voting stage, we do cover our core issues of strong public schools, good government, and fiscal sanity.

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Who voted for the LLC tax loophole?

Even the uninformed voters in Kansas have heard of the "LLC loophole."1 This is the provision included in the 2012 tax cut experiment that exempted businesses incorporated as Limited Liability Corporations. The loophole allows the owners of those entities to avoid taxes on the profits of the business, resulting in 330,000 businesses no longer paying taxes, while their employees still do.2

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What can you do?

Last week, hundreds of people gathered for our second annual “Restore Sanity to Kansas” lunch. We planned for two hundred, but they kept coming, and we ended up hosting almost three hundred concerned citizens looking to change the direction of politics in our state.

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They Can't Hide in the Dark

Late last night (or early this morning) the Kansas Legislature recessed, the business of the State of Kansas done. Or mostly done. Or rather, kicked down the road, and into the neighbor's yard.

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Talk about Politics!

The Legislature returns to work this week, with a budget deficit of almost $300 million over the next two years, schools in jeopardy of being closed because of consistent underfunding, and former allies running away from Brownback as fast as they can. This session, and the election it leads up to, are generating an enormous amount of interest. This election is projected to have very high turnout, and people are beginning to show an interest in what is going on, not just on the national level, but in their own states and districts.

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Unbelievable education bill

As you know, the Kansas Legislature is on their Spring break. Ostensibly, they have done the State's business, and are waiting for the Governor to act on proposed bills. Then they return for a short veto session to deal with what the Governor has done.

But this year, as in most previous years, the Legislature has not finished their work. When they return, several bills will still be in the balance, the expected ruling from the Courts on education equity will still hang over them, and, of course, new bills can still be introduced.

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Justice in the Balance

In March of 2012, at a private meeting with then State Senator Tim Owens, Governor Brownback is reported to have said, "Tim, why can’t you go along with us on this judicial selection issue and let us change the way we select judges so we can get judges who will vote the way we want them to?"

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The Waiting Game

While the lawmakers are off on their Spring Break (the Legislature reconvenes on April 27th for the "veto" session), we find ourselves both exhausted from the sprint of the session, and relieved at the sudden "hurry up and wait" place we find ourselves. We thought it would be nice to take a deep breath and check in on the main themes we laid out for this session back in early January.

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How it all started

Nobody denies that Kansans are in trouble. The state continues to lose money, scraping what it can from between the couch cushions at KDOT and KPERS. Hospitals are closing, leaving communities and patients without the health security they need. Schools are being squeezed by naive legislators who think lobbyists know what children need to succeed.

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