Heroes

The long fight in the House may have ended this morning at 3:30, but there are House members who can hold their heads up high today. Some are our stalwart moderates, some are steadfast conservatives who stuck to their principles. Whatever their reasons, they did not bow to the threats and pressure, and for that, we count them heroes.

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Cowards

At 3:30 in the morning today, the Kansas House of Representatives passed a tax bill. It took 23 days of extra session, almost a million dollars in overtime pay, and Governor Brownback threatening them twice. The bill, which still needs to be passed by the Kansas Senate, but looks very much like a bill they already passed once, is not good for Kansas.

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Gridlock hurts Kansas and Kansans

If you were not paying attention, you might think the Kansas Legislature had just gone home. This week’s activities involved a long working weekend (for the Senate, as the House basically told the Senate they could go first) during which they agreed on very little, but managed to hammer out a tax bill that was then stripped for procedural reasons to send it to a conference committee. Basically, they worked and made speeches and stayed up late and then decided to erase all of that. That weekend of lost work cost the taxpayers $85,000.

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This is the one you share, for Kansas

This is the blog post you share with your friends and family. Why? Because this is the post that will convince them that Kansas needs to change, and that they need to get in the game to help bring that change.

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Haiku for Kansas: A Legislative Update

Deficit remains
No ownership of problem
No resolve in sight

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You Have One Job

This week, the Kansas Legislature met briefly each day to either a) see if leadership had come up with a budget (no), or b) consider ill-advised pet legislation to while away the time. In the end, perhaps embarrassed by charging the people of Kansas $42,700 a day to do nothing, they adjourned for an unpaid four-day weekend.

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Buffering... trying to connect with the KS Legislature

buffering.jpg

Still no budget. It’s Day 93 of the 2015 legislative session, three days into overtime. At $43,000 per day, it’s not clear why the House and Senate both chose to adjourn before 2:00 pm yesterday afternoon, with plenty of daylight left to burn.

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Down the Rabbit Hole

A quick recap of where Kansas stands right now: Expenses exceed revenues by $800 million. Much of that is being closed by transfers from highway funds and other sources. But those stopgap measures, unsustainable as they are, still leave a $406 million gap yet to close.

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The Best Case Scenario

More than a week into the final session of the Kansas Legislature, and we are going backwards on the budget. The hole is still $800 million. For a while there it looked like the Governor's proposed sin taxes would fill a lot of that hole, and people were talking about a $400 million gap, or even a now-mythical $139 million gap. But this past week the only real movement in the budgetary discussion was to table, un-table, and then basically ignore the Governor's proposals. The gap is still $800 million, and until they actually pass a bill that appropriates money or cuts expenses, that gap will remain.

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Kansas First Annual Hunger Games - School Districts Compete

This is our latest Legislative Update, keeping up with the recent changes in budget plans (spoiler: they have none yet) and last minute policy.

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