Testimony in support of SB 44, Governor Kelly's Plan to Finance Public Education

This is testimony delivered to the Senate Select Committee on Education Finance by Brandi Fisher, Executive Director of the MainStream Coalition, in support of SB 44, Governor Kelly's plan to finance public education.

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Alert! Send email to support SB 44!

Today, the MainStream Coalition is in Topeka testifying in favor of SB 44, Governor Kelly's School Finance Plan. This bill finally puts to rest the endless litigation over school finance, ensuring that our schools are fully funded by incorporating an inflation provision, as required by the Kansas Supreme Court.

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Who do they represent?

We spend a lot of our time arguing that legislators should represent their constituents, the people whose lives they affect by their vote. The people who they represent in their elected office. They should not, we say, represent only their donors, nor even solely the people who voted for them, as there are many issues that affect all Kansans. And they should certainly not represent only the views of the leadership of their party.

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Statement on HCR 5004

HCR 5004, a measure to amend the Kansas Constitution to make safe, legal abortions illegal in Kansas, was introduced this week in the Kansas House of Representatives.

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Legislation is the key

The 2019 Kansas Legislative Session has been open for two weeks. Already, the Kansas Senate has introduced 48 new bills. The Kansas House has introduced 89. Many are procedural, some are common sense, some affect a small portion of Kansas law, others are simply declarations. And some are major, important bills that affect every Kansan. Already we've seen bills introduced for the state's budget, for changes to the tax code, for education financing, and more. But, and we cannot overstate this, the very conservative leadership in the Legislature has already introduced bills at odds with the stated goals of the Governor, and this impasse will likely lead to little getting accomplished until the very end of the session. Again.

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It all starts with the budget

Everything the Kansas state government does begins with the budget. Gov. Kelly knows this, and submitted her budget weeks earlier than her predecessors, so that the Legislature could begin working, rather than grandstanding. But that did not prevent her opposition from crying foul. The Kansas Legislative Session has only just begun, and already there are roadblocks to progress. Let us guide you through the politics.

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Your 2019 Kansas Legislature

Today is the official first day of the 2019 Kansas Legislative Session. Over the next few months, a lot of legislation will pass through the Statehouse in Topeka. Most of it will be mundane, some of it will be ceremonial. But some of it will touch the lives of every Kansan, for better or worse.

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Good Things

This is a letter from Ed Peterson, MainStream's new Board President. See a list of the 2019 Board of Directors here.

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You make our work possible

On behalf of our staff and board, I want to wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.

Thanks to you, 2018 was a banner year for MainStream.

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Dignity is a mainstream value

MainStream's founding issue is the separation of church and state, and as part of that, demanding respect for the rights, freedoms, and beliefs of all individuals. Freedom is not, as some extremists would have you think, the right to do what you will, where you will. Rather, freedom is the right to not be subjected to the morality and beliefs of others. It is why we have always stood for civil rights and against discrimination in any form. It is why we are excited to see and support the wave of LGBTQ+ non-discrimination ordinances (NDOs) being proposed and passed in northeast Kansas these last few months. But it is not enough.

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