Archive for Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Legislators set to reconvene, solve state budget problems

April 28, 2010, 8:16 a.m. Updated April 28, 2010, 10:40 a.m.


— Kansas legislators have returned to the Statehouse to tackle the state’s budget problems and wrap up their business for the year.

Lawmakers reconvened Wednesday after a lengthy spring break.

The most pressing issue is a projected $510 million gap between anticipated revenues and spending commitments for the budget year that starts July 1.

Advocates for the disabled planned rallies both Wednesday and Thursday in favor of raising taxes. And the anti-tax group Americans for Prosperity also planned a rally.

The wrap-up session could last two weeks or more. Wednesday was the 76th day of the 2010 session, out of 90 scheduled.


love2fish_ks 8 years, 1 month ago

This is going to get really ugly. We have some very harsh facts. 52% of the state budget is spent on K-12; Higher Ed takes 13%; Medicade 12%; Law Enforcement and Prisons 14%. Those 4 budget areas account for 91% of the state budget. We have a giant shortfall of $510M - $550M.

The real question is one of accountability. The voices from K-12 and Higher Ed are silent on solutions. Their only message is a single drum beat of 'don't touch me'.

The state has increased spending on K-12 by $1B since 2004 and test scores remain flat. Why? Where is the accountability for results? The state has spent $350M on non-education operating expense for K-12 in the past 2 years. That money is gone.

We need solutions and accountability. So called education administrators need to step up to the plate and offer solutions. The administrators have lost their way. What else could explain the additional funds and no results. A health dose of humility and admission of wrong doing ($1B additional funds and no results) would be a good first step.

getreal 8 years, 1 month ago

Love2fish_ks - Test scores are NOT flat! NCLB Reading scores have increased over 11% from 2005-2008. NCLB Math scores have increased over 14% from 2005-2008. You only have to take a look at the legislature's own study to realize what it costs to have these improvements. It is exactly the reason that the legislature instituted a three year funding plan to correct the deficiencies and raise student achievement.

What exactly is it that you would like schools to do? Ignore the state and federal mandates for improving student achievement? Are you suggesting they break the law? Are legislators rolling back the requirements? NO!

Kansans want a well-educated workforce and they are willing to pay for it. It is why 16 Chambers representing thousands of business owers are advocating a tax increase. It is why local chambers are choosing to drop their membership in the state chamber.

All the lies by KPI, AFP, and Koch industries won't change what Kansans know - good schools make great communities and we will pay to have them!!!

douglas6280 8 years, 1 month ago

The village idiots have returned, watch out!

Ken Lewis 8 years, 1 month ago

I understand they are also going to waste time fretting over the strip clubs and how to misuse state authority to run them out of business......while simultaneously calling for "smaller, less instrusive govt".

Reason McLucus 8 years, 1 month ago

Any tax increase should be imposed on those who can afford higher taxes, those making more than $50,000 a year. If they cannot afford higher taxes than how can anyone believe that those of us with lower incomes can afford higher sales taxes.

texburgh 8 years ago

Well, I notice that lawrenceguy40 dropped his "plenty of fat" mantra for the more general "no tax increase." Many of us are still waiting for you to identify the fat you want cut and cost it out but I guess dropping the statement perhaps means you can't?

As for student achievement being flat after the funding increase for K-12 (the result of the state losing a lawsuit based on a cost analysis the legislature ordered and so being found to have failed their constitutional obligation), a recent study conducted by the legislative post audit division at the request of the legislature found a one to one correspondence between the increased funding and increased student achievement. In other words, the legislature's own research arm found that with a big funding increase, there were equally big gains in student achievement.

So, love2fish_ks - get your facts straight before you post, please.

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