Archive for Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kansas to receive $179M in aid

August 11, 2010

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— Kansas could receive approximately $179 million to preserve teacher jobs and help pay for health care for the needy under passage of a $26 billion state aid bill Tuesday by Congress.

“With this assistance finally on its way to the president, we avoid laying off thousands of teachers, increasing class sizes and damaging our children’s quality education,” Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson said.

“We also keep our state budget in balance by filling the gap that was dependent on” increased federal dollars for Medicaid, he said.

Approximately $92 million of the $179 million for Kansas will go toward preserving education jobs and the remaining $87 million will go to help fund Medicaid.

House Democrats pushed the legislation through during a one-day session after it was approved last week by the Senate. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law immediately.

Parkinson, a Democrat, had been among a bipartisan group of governors that lobbied Congress to approve the additional aid to states.

Because of the recession, many states faced unprecedented budget shortfalls, including Kansas.

In a letter to the Kansas congressional delegation, Parkinson said that without passage of the bill “thousands of jobs will be lost through additional teacher layoffs, our communities will be less safe and many vulnerable Kansans will lose critical services they need to live healthy and productive lives.”

But almost all Republicans opposed the bill, including U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas who is running for governor. Brownback, who voted against the bill last week, said the assistance should have been paid for with existing federal stimulus funds.

Comments

CorkyHundley 4 years, 8 months ago

Heavens to betsy. Do melange government types produce anything? They get an awful lot of money. But, do they deserve it?

Battle Looms Over Huge Costs of Public Pensions ... There's a class war coming to the world of government pensions. The haves are retirees who were once state or municipal workers. Their seemingly guaranteed and ever- escalating monthly pension benefits are breaking budgets nationwide. The have-nots are taxpayers who don't have generous pensions. Their 401(k)s or individual retirement accounts have taken a real beating in recent years and are not guaranteed. And soon, many of those people will be paying higher taxes or getting fewer state services as their states put more money aside to cover those pension checks. At stake is at least $1 trillion. That's trillion, with a "t," as in titanic and terrifying. – New York Times

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 8 months ago

All the more reason to let the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire.

newmedia 4 years, 8 months ago

Part of this "union bailout" is to be funded by reducing the food stamp program in 2014. Anyone who believes that is actually going to happen please stand up. Isn't it great to be in flyover country!

slowplay 4 years, 8 months ago

It's been a good 18 months. My 401K has increased, my home has increased in value, my employer is no longer laying off, in fact we are expecting small raises this year. My mother was re-hired at her old job and my sister just bought a new home. The stock market is up, the auto industry is back on it's feet, foreclosures are down, financial institutions are showing profits and repaying the bailout money. That said, the jobless numbers are still up and people are being cautious about spending which in turn delays a full economic recovery. This country was on the precipice of another Great Depression. Staying with the status quo would have put us over the edge. Although the Obama administration hasn't lived up to the high expectations, it was able to get us a safe distance from the cliff.

Godot 4 years, 8 months ago

Thanks to the current occupant of the Whitehouse, we are racing toward the cliff at 100 miles per hour.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 8 months ago

Yep, and that's a scary scenario-- but at least that's an improvement over the 200 mph speed under Bush, and perhaps even higher if McCain had been elected.

Now if we only could have elected Nader or Kucinich, we might be headed away from that cliff right now.

avoice 4 years, 8 months ago

Politics aside (I am neither a Republican hoping for Obama's failure nor a Democrat wanting to hold tight to my rose-colored glasses), the chances of the overall economy slipping into recession in the near-term are very, very good right now. So I hope you, your company, your mother, your sister and all your fortunate friends are doing everything in your power to stimulate this economy. Because everyone whose optimistic think-system is working right now needs to provide a whole lot of cover for the rest of us who are still experiencing the effects of The Great Recession Part I and desperately hoping The Great Recession Part II is not on our doorstep.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 4 years, 8 months ago

A great reason to vote D in November. For those who have been paying attention, an R vote in November is practically begging for recession or, worse yet, a depression.

R's have been laying it on thick with the scare tactics, but it's their ideas (and lack thereof) that are really scary. Wrong on climate, wrong on the economy, wrong on HCR, wrong on practically everything.

arizonajh 4 years, 8 months ago

It's been good for me. No one in my family has been laid off. I got my raise this year and my wife received her raise. My 401K is up. My savings are up. I moved into a beautiful home on a golf course. My daughter was born and my insurance paid for most of it (it seems my company didn't drop its coverage like the repub's said it would when healthcare reform passed). We've hired three more engineers in my group alone and 12 people total in the office. Perhaps if you're not better off you should look at what you're doing and quit trying to blame others for your failings. Where is all that personal responsibility that the right always clamors about?

avoice 4 years, 8 months ago

What I said to slowpay. And this: Shall all State of Kansas employees quit their jobs because they haven't received pay raises in more than two years? Shall all small businesses close their doors and throw millions of people into the I-need-retraining loop? Perhaps if you're so well off, you should be one of the people ponying up more taxes, spending more of your cash instead of socking it away in your 401k and savings. Or at least start knocking on wood for your good fortune that could change in the blink of an eye. You sound like "the right" in left clothing.

arizonajh 4 years, 8 months ago

avoice - I replied to H-M's question with my personal situation as he asked us to do. Lets see I bought a house, I think that might have made some people some cash. I brought another person into the world and doctors and nurses were compensated for their part not to mention those who make, import or sell car seats, cribs, changing tables, diapers, $30 a can lactose intolerant baby formula etc etc etc.. I design infrastructure which both R's and D's agree stimulates the economy. My company is hiring and we have 300+ positions here and all over the world open (ever been to Afghanistan?). Now I'm no Tom but I pay and will pay whatever taxes my government asks no matter if a R or a D inhabits the halls of power because that is the price of living in a society. My 401K deductions have not changed since 1997 and the balance has gone up and down but is currently up. My savings though more now than it was is not enough to slow the economy. If you don't mind though I think I'll keep planning and preparing for my family's future, thank you very much!. If the situation here changes in the "blink of an eye" then I will pack up my family and head off to the next place with opportunity be it in Detroit or Dubai. I had very few skills and was making a few dollars above minimum wage when I was 25. I chose then to do something for myself and got the education I was never afforded after high school. I worked two jobs and enrolled part time at KU, got my degree in six years in a field that had a future and moved 1300 miles to get a good job and I am now I am getting my masters' from ASU. I've been with the same company almost 15 years now. I busted my hump to get to where I am today and I'm proud of it. I grew up quite poor but I blamed myself for were I was at 25 and no one else (I kept hearing that Pink Floyd song that says "...one day you find, ten years have got behind you, no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun" and realized they were pretty much talking about me!). It is one of the things I agree with the R's on, if you want something better in life no one is going to give it to you, you have to go and get it. My reply to H-M was a retort to those who claim self-reliance but blame the big bad government for their troubles. I understand many people have fallen on hard times and "I feel their pain" and some are in situations that don't allow for much change but blaming others doesn't get you very far on the road to personal recovery. By the way I think "the right in left clothing" would put me somewhere in the middle. Also I totally missed your point about the State of Kansas and small business can you expound on that?

PattiPlatypus 4 years, 8 months ago

Great points Arizona :) And guess what Avoice? When people get raises, they DO pay more in taxes!! And even spend more on things they've been putting off for, oh, 8 years and 18 months, like large appliances and stuff. My family doesn't make a ton, but if a few percentage points more in taxes would mean smaller classrooms, better healthcare for children without it, and afterschool programs to keep kids whose parents can't afford daycare in constructive activities, I would gladly give it up.

nobody1793 4 years, 8 months ago

I'm doing pretty well, and even lost a few pounds. Life isn't quite as scary as politicians on either side of the isle would like you to believe.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 4 years, 8 months ago

"Are you better off than you were 18 months ago?"

Yes.

"How is that hope and change working for you?"

Personally, pretty well, thank you. And others seem to be doing better, too. NBER hasn't called it yet (they usually don't until it is well past the event), but recession defined by US GDP ended June 2009 and job recession appears to have ended December 2009. Pretty amazing since 18 months ago we were staring a depression in the eyes. At least it is going in the right direction. Still some things to be done, but at least things appear to be improving and the Fed Res is putting a backstop as a 3rd line of defense against a double dip. All this despite the party of no clogging everything up.

Why do they want the US to fail?

beatrice 4 years, 8 months ago

Yes, we are better off. We are also doing better than we would have under that whole mavericky winky winky thing.

Lindsey Buscher 4 years, 8 months ago

Well, that is basically what got us to this point in the first place, that and the two wars we are funding through borrowed money. So no, if retardlicans take power and begin enacting ridiculous policies Obama will not be the only one to blame them should the economy "implode" (which it already did at the end of the Bush regime).

Unreal 4 years, 8 months ago

Tom, I've got news for you . . . the economy was already imploded before Bush left office and LONG before Obama was ever elected!

jayhawks71 4 years, 8 months ago

Are you better off than you were 18 months ago? Yes, thankfully I am.

How is that hope and change working for you? Probably better than living under Maverick and his sidekick Hockey Mom. However, I guess we will never know, thankfully.

Bonus item: Imagine how much better off we would all be if W and his puppetmaster had not decided to manufacture a case for war, now to the tune of $1.06 trillion. "That's trillion, with a "t," as in titanic and terrifying." Mission accomplished!

Unreal 4 years, 8 months ago

Well said slowplay & jayhawks71!!! It is just way too painful for the repubs to admit that this current administration saved us from total financial collapse. Also, if the repubs are so against any and all bailout money (even though they said nothing when Bush passed the first bailout before Obama took office), I'd like to know what they would have done to keep us from going into another depression? What was their solution? Funny, I never heard one because they didn't have one. All they've done is sit back and complain and blame Obama instead of coming up with something constructive to help this country out.

And oh yeah, where was all this tea-bagger outrage when ol Bushy was running up Billions for a war we should have never have stuck our noses into in the first place? Where was the outrage when Bushy's administration started out with a SURPLUS from the Clinton administration and Bush & the republican-controlled congress for 6 years ran it up into the trillions? Funny, there was no outrage then. Now that Obama and this current administration has had to bail us out of Bushy's financial nightmare, somehow he and congress are to blame.

Yes, I have no doubt that the last few years of the Bush administration didn't care one iota if they left the country in financial ruins because they knew a democratic administration would be taking over this nightmare and that it would take years to turn it all around. But how convenient for the repubs that they get to blame the dems for not fixing this mess in less than 2 years, when anyone with an ounce of sense knows it will take years, not 20 months to fix this mess.

avoice 4 years, 8 months ago

Have you political maniacs ever considered the fact that real people -- Not right-wingers, tea-baggers, and/or conservatives -- are still out here suffering in this economy? These kinds of comments, directed as blows to your political adversaries, are extremely offensive to the real folks on the ground who are trying to deal with a lot of financial pressure. We don't really care at this point whether it's the Republicans or the Democrats or the conservatives or the liberals who are screwing things up. We need real solutions from people who really know how to handle real problems. The more you people tout your good fortune to try to gain political points, the more you turn the rest of us off. And that right there is likely to be the downfall of the Democrats in the near future.

slowplay 4 years, 8 months ago

Iraq will have 90,000 fewer U.S. troops by September. I'd say that's a good first step.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 8 months ago

Sam Brownback's first action as governor will be to send this money back to DC and make the necessary cuts to Kansas spending.

I'm sure of it.

Lindsey Buscher 4 years, 8 months ago

Yes, good call, I am sure that bloggers have the right of it.

Except Sam has already set education as one of his campaign platforms, so I really doubt he would not do anything with this money.

Lindsey Buscher 4 years, 8 months ago

I have a friend who graduated in 2009 with a teaching degree from Emporia State, which as you all should know is a great teacher's school. Since then she could not even hope to be offered a teaching job anywhere in Kansas, yet somehow yesterday, seemingly out of the blue, she received a job offer.

So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Sigmund 4 years, 8 months ago

Shouldn't this article be titled "Teacher steal food from 41 million hungry Americans"?

"The bill also requires that $12 billion be stripped from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, to help fund the new bill, prompting some Democrats to cringe at the notion of cutting back on one necessity to pay for another. The federal assistance program currently helps 41 million Americans."

Democrats, Advocacy Groups Blast Cuts to Food Stamps to Fund $26B Aid Bill http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/08/10/democrats-advocacy-groups-blast-cuts-food-stamps-fund-m-jobs/

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 8 months ago

I guess that means that we'll see those oh-so-concerned Republicans offering up bills to restore these cuts to Food Stamps, right? (I'm sure there are enough liberal Democrats who would join them to make passage relatively easy.)

love2fish_ks 4 years, 8 months ago

LJWorld should do their research. Here's the math. Kansas will get $179M if it returns to the funding level of 2008. The delta between current and 2008 is ($350M). So, if KS fully funds education to 2008 level additional cuts of $171M must happen to the other agencies.

K-12 is 51% of state budget, Medicate is 12%, and prison is 9% (17% if law enforcement is included). Those three areas represent 72% of the state budget. It would be a total blood bath to the remaining state agencies to come up with $171M.

This is classic Washington and the rule of unintended consequences. High-jacking the state budget for the teachers union is nuts. KS should not take the money. The consequences are too severe.

Godot 4 years, 8 months ago

What makes you think the consequences are unintended?

Godot 4 years, 8 months ago

BTW, the International Monetary Fund says the US is now bankrupt. Got bonds?

MyName 4 years, 8 months ago

It's a good thing we have these bright economic minds on the LJWorld forums to tell us what will happen in the future! If you're so smart, why aren't you on Wall Street?

Unreal 4 years, 8 months ago

Again, another repub or teabagger just sitting around complaining about what the current administration has done to try keep this country from completely collapsing financially, but not offering one alternative solution. What do you suggest Congress and our President do to keep our country from going over the cliff? What do they need to do to keep the repubs and teabaggers happy? Nothing, because no matter if they did the bailouts or didn't do the bailouts, they would have been criticized for doing the wrong thing.

avoice, your comment: "And that right there is likely to be the downfall of the Democrats in the near future", is obviously doing the same thing you were criticizing others for -- blaming one party for the mess this country is in. You're upset because people are still out of work and struggling. Well guess what, that will probably still be the case 5 years from now! This country was in such a mess, that it's going to take years to undo the damage that has happened. So unfortunately, you're going to have to be just a little patient. Plus, you should be DAMN glad that you've got Dems running the show right now who actually care about the poor and middle class who are struggling. Cuz I guarantee you the rich repubs that were in power these last 8 years didn't give a crap about the poor or middle class. That's not preaching for one side or the other. That is just a fact!

KS 4 years, 8 months ago

And what are the folks going to do next year? Will they get their act in order (I doubt it) or ask for more? Is this not just enabling more spending (like a drug addict) versus tightening the budget? When is this insanity going to stop folks?

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