Archive for Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sebelius: Legislators are doing ‘nothing’

Focus on coal plants distracting leaders from major issues, she says

March 15, 2008


Sebelius: coal plants holding up legislative agenda

Governor Kathleen Sebelius says legislators supporting two local coal-fired power plants in southwestern Kansas appear to be playing "Let's Make a Deal." Enlarge video

— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Friday said the Legislature has failed on a number of major issues because of efforts to push through legislation that would require the construction of two coal-fired power plants.

Two-thirds of the way through the 90-day session, Sebelius said health care reforms have gone backward, funds for disaster victims have been put on hold and there has been no movement on early childhood and higher education funding.

She harkened back to President Truman 60 years ago when he criticized the "Do Nothing Congress."

Sebelius said "It was appropriate in 1948, it is equally appropriate today with regards to the Kansas Legislature."

But House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, defended the work of the session, saying that next week the House and Senate will have debates on the state budget and immigration.

"The big stuff is moving," Neufeld said.

The major impasse of the legislative session is over a proposal by Sunflower Electric Power Corp. to build two 700-megawatt coal-fired units in southwest Kansas. Most of the power would be for out-of-state customers.

The Sebelius administration denied permits for the plants, citing the project's annual emissions of 11 million tons of carbon dioxide and its effect on climate change and the environment.

Supporters of the project have sent Sebelius a bill that would essentially require construction of the plants and strip the state environmental agency of much of its authority.

Sebelius has vowed to veto the bill next week. She said supporters of the project are trying to hold up action on numerous important issues as a way to trade up to the necessary two-thirds majority in the House and Senate to override her veto.

"Tying up everything ends up being a way to play 'Let's Make a Deal,' " she said.


BrianR 9 years, 9 months ago

"The big stuff is moving." -- Neufeld

Translation: The people who bought us are being taken care of.

Jerry Stubbs 9 years, 9 months ago

When politicians get to this stage of game-playing, it is probably easier to get new politicians rather than get them to unlearn their bad habits.

jayhawklawrence 9 years, 9 months ago

Let's hope the new generation of young voters can understand the need to clean house.

dminear60 9 years, 9 months ago

They should start cleaning house by voting our politicians like Neufeld.

toefungus 9 years, 9 months ago

Poor Gov. She is reaping what she sows and does not like the taste. This is just the beginning of a long and angry period of east vs west relations in Topeka. A divided state lays at the doorstep of this Governor.

justthefacts 9 years, 9 months ago

Here's the deal - those people who spend their time at the state house during session are all - and I mean all - saying that the only thing being really looked at right now is the power plant issue. No one really cares about much else. Some are for, and some are against. But all the other topics and proposed legislation are taking a back seat - way back - to this issue. Makes one wonder about the amount of money and strength & number of high power brokers pushing for the plants when lobbyists for all other causes are completely shut out of the process until this one big deal is done. Or not.

Of course, I'm not personally upset. I like it when the legislature can't get much done. If they will fund the necessities, it won't really impact too many people (the average Joe and Mary) if they can't tinker or pass more pork projects. So other then the appropriation committees, it's a good thing when government gets stalled out. Less red tape and meddling.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 9 months ago

What a waste of tax dollars? The greater majority of which are republicans should be fired ..... never again should they grace the statehouse chambers. They waste more tax dollars talking and doing nothing. A one issue legislature deserves to be terminated. Wasting so much time on coal plants means all other issues do not get the undivided attention necessary to make practical or fiscally responsible decisions.

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 9 months ago

Neufeld is a clown and an embarrassment. An appropriate leader for the Kansas legislature.

Neufeld should concentrate on his farming. At least that benefits the state.

And how about Brownback, Roberts, and Tiahrt blowing the Air Force tanker deal? What a display of ineptitude. Bob Dole would have ensured that contract to Boeing. What useless heaps of flesh we have for senators.

Centerville 9 years, 9 months ago

She's pathetic. It would be apparent to all if Scott Rothschild wasn't her stenographer.

Godot 9 years, 9 months ago

The fewer new programs created and laws passed by the Kansas legislature, the better.

notajayhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

And the governor thinks the legislators should be doing what - posing for Vogue or something?

situveux1 9 years, 9 months ago

I'm just glad the governor was able to come back from campaigning in Mississippi and Ohio and who knows where else to tell us the Legislature is doing nothing. Sebelius is doing quite a lot...for herself.

At least Neufeld et al are in the state.

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