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Archive for Monday, January 25, 2010

Senator seeks resolution to prohibit school districts from using tax dollars to sue for more tax dollars

January 25, 2010

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— A south-central Kansas senator is asking his counterparts to approve a resolution that in part states that Kansans can’t use tax dollars to sue for more tax dollars.

Sen. Dick Kelsey, a Goddard Republican who is running for Congress, testified Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee on a resolution concerning the separation of powers in Kansas. Kelsey says he and others are concerned about the potential for the courts to order legislators to spend more money again on schools.

More than 70 districts are asking the Kansas Supreme Court to reopen a 2006 ruling that forced more education spending. Kelsey says he has heard repeatedly from constituents that the practice should be prevented, regardless if the lawsuit is financed by state or local taxes.

Comments

scott3460 4 years, 2 months ago

"Given the results of public education, you should join us. "

And what has the right to a free public education produced for our country, leedavid?

And what have the right wing efforts to defund and resegregate produced?

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leedavid 4 years, 3 months ago

scott3460 (Anonymous) says…

The right wing's war on public education continues.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Given the results of public education, you should join us.

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Slowponder 4 years, 3 months ago

As the self-appointed Chairman of the Soybean Board, we support more money for schools, because without education, there is no one to raise more soybeans. And without more soybeans, there is no reason for our board. So we, the Soybean Board, have a vested interest in more money for education.

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scott3460 4 years, 3 months ago

The right wing's war on public education continues.

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finance 4 years, 3 months ago

I did not use the word "average" houses when I spoke of what $1 million will buy. Certainly I'm not saying the average house costs that much, but I AM saying that it isn't difficult to find a house that costs $1 million, and the house won't be all that remarkable--definitely not a mansion. In other words, the value of $1 million has been reduced significantly from its old meaning--i.e., what does it mean to be a "millionaire" in 2010 compared to--say--1950? The answer is, it's still bigger money than most people will ever see, but it has entered common language so thoroughly that driving down a residential street can easily display $500,000 or $750,000 or even $1 million--and not in a mansion-like sense.

I agree that all money has "best" uses. I don't defend one dollar over another, but I do object when fury is directed at a word--over the past weeks, the word "Astroturf" has taken a beating, and mostly for its evocative power. I posted earlier on cost-benefit and net cost over a lifetime of a product...again, I don't care about it very much, but words used as whips is something I do care about. And Astroturf is just a "word", not an evil entity.

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jayhawkmarauder 4 years, 3 months ago

Fiance; a million will buy 4 or 5 average houses not one. Pretty sure there was a field there before, that got the job done. Nothing wrong with wanting a new football field but you don't spend the money when you don't have it. How many teachers could they of hired or kept with that money? 20? x 20 students each min. Yeah, I guess astroturf might keep a kid from dropping out , but I bet more could of been helped in the classroom.

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leedavid 4 years, 3 months ago

kugrad (Anonymous) says…

The money does exist leedavid. The legislature cut the state education property-tax levy by nearly half during the 90's. They can raise it back again. There is a difference between arguing there is no money and arguing that you don't want to spend the money.

I stand corrected on representation and appreciate your explanation.

The state is broke. Employees are being furlowed...so where is this money that you are talking about?

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commuter 4 years, 3 months ago

I go back to an old saying. he who has the gold, makes the rules.

I have no problem with this resolution. Why should the schools be allowed to use state given money to sue the state.

To me, it is like the segregation of operating funds and capital outlay funds.

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finance 4 years, 3 months ago

What genius at work. Looked around to see what $1 million will buy today? A house; that's about all--and a house we'd probably all agree shouldn't cost half that much. So, an entire football field? Pretty good, I'd say. But then again, I'm not much of a football fan--instead, I'm simply not selfish enough to believe that what I "value" should be what everyone else values, so that a "football field" is not (in my mind) a waste of money even though I'm unlikely to show up for even one game. To somebody else, it's really important--LIKE KIDS WHO STAY IN SCHOOL WHO OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE DROPPED OUT, OR WHO EVEN BECOME WELL-PAID PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES! Right--a huge waste of money--catch the sarcasm? Oh, and aimed at jealous people who probably haven't made much of themselves as measured by the whole "how much taxes do YOU pay equation". And--as the clinker? Your "personal" tax bill is proportional to your personal wealth...get it? Probably not.

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jayhawkmarauder 4 years, 3 months ago

Rather, If they have MONEY for million dollar football fields -THEY have enough money ! They have their priorities askew

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headdoctor 4 years, 3 months ago

kugrad (Anonymous) says… This is a ridiculous attempt to usurp the checks and balances in our government.


What is this strange subject you refer to? The only Government check and balance I know of these days is the Politicians hold out their hands for their various checks to improve their own balances.

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ralphralph 4 years, 3 months ago

It seems to me that the Ks Supreme Court determined that the Kansas Constitution requires that education be adquately funded. That would impose an obligation of priority ... that is, education MUST be funded, by constitutional mandate --- whereas programs such as the Soybean Board (I just made that up, but you get the point) or whatever program that is operated under a less-than-constitutional-mandate level, are perhaps fully discretionary.

Some things, like Education, MUST be funded, while other things, like the Soybean Board I made up, MAY be funded. The legislature needs to fund the schools by making cuts in non-mandated programs first, and not spread the cuts between mandated and non-mandated programs. The money IS there for the mandated programs, but it would come at the cost of non-mandated programs ... who wants to be on the legislature's end of THAT lawsuit? Hence, the bill to prevent the lawsuit. Fund the schools, dimwits.

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KSManimal 4 years, 3 months ago

"Even the courts in their divine wisdom cannot produce money that does not exist."

Right, leedavid, the courts cannot produce money. But the legislature CAN; and as far as public education is concerned, the legislature has a constitutional obligation to do so. Nothing in the constitution say's "only if they feel like it", or "only if the economy is good".

And, the money DOES exist. Our legislature continued to hand out tax cuts and tax exemptions even when projections showed budget shortages. They were more concerned with their own good 'ol boy system than they were with the future of Kansas.

According to Secretary of the Treasury Joan Wagnon, $57 billion in sales were subject to state sales taxes in 2008. At the same time, $75 billion is sales were EXEMPT from sales taxes. By handing out tax exemptions, our legislature shorted the treasury by $10 billion since '95.

This is a manufactured crisis - courtesy of our legislature. They wouldn't need to RAISE taxes. All they'd need to do is ask EVERYONE to pay their share. Then, they might actually be able to LOWER taxes, AND properly fund education.

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kugrad 4 years, 3 months ago

The money does exist leedavid. The legislature cut the state education property-tax levy by nearly half during the 90's. They can raise it back again. There is a difference between arguing there is no money and arguing that you don't want to spend the money.

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kugrad 4 years, 3 months ago

LeeDavid, You are incorrect. The Board of Ed., which is legally responsible for allocating the funds our district receives for education, is an elected body. They represent us. I did not say the 'school system' represented us, but rather pointed out that we have elected representation regarding the spending of education dollars.

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puddleglum 4 years, 3 months ago

hey, if corporations can spend limitless amounts of money on campaigns, why can't tax payers use tax money?

huh>?

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CheneyHawk 4 years, 3 months ago

He is a joke- always desperate for publicity, never wants to pay his fair share but wants all kinds of tax breaks for his failing businesses. Spouts anti-abortion and pro-NRA but has no other real agenda. Very shallow. Big hat, no cattle..

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MyName 4 years, 3 months ago

@leedavid:

A military member for example may not sue the federal government for the same reason.

That's not completely accurate. The main reason why military personnel on active duty lack standing to sue the government is because of the federal tort claims act (and judicial interpretations thereof). This was a necessary exception to a law that allowed ordinary citizens to sue the government for tort claims (like wrongful death). Allowing military personnel to make a wrongful death suit against would be very disruptive as a large part of their job puts them into dangerous situations.

This has nothing to do with whether one part of government can sue another part. And it makes sense that one branch of government would ask another branch to referee if there is a good reason to believe that the other branch is not doing its job.

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Chris Golledge 4 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like Dick Kelsey is requesting impunity for he and his fellows for deviating from the Kansas constitution.

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KSManimal 4 years, 3 months ago

Another right-wing attempt to remove checks and balances. Who would've thought......

Watch for the term "activist Judges" to come forth from these folks. "Activist Judges" being any judge who actually follows the law instead of pandering to the right-wing agenda.

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tomatogrower 4 years, 3 months ago

Someone has to force the legislature to do their jobs. If not another branch, then who?

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Paul R Getto 4 years, 3 months ago

"Even the courts in their divine wisdom cannot produce money that does not exist." === The courts don't have to produce money; that is the legislature's job. All the court did was rule that the system was constitutionally underfunded and cited the dollar figures necessary to serve the schools' needs. Where did they get those numbers? They kept coming up in the studies the legislature commissioned to see what a suitable education costs.

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leedavid 4 years, 3 months ago

ivalueamerica (Anonymous) says…

If the legislature is not keeping up their duties according to the laws and Constitution of Kansas, I would see no reason that the entities they are failing should not use the funds at their disposal from the state to assure the state is serving them according to the law.


Even the courts in their divine wisdom cannot produce money that does not exist.

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ivalueamerica 4 years, 3 months ago

If the legislature is not keeping up their duties according to the laws and Constitution of Kansas, I would see no reason that the entities they are failing should not use the funds at their disposal from the state to assure the state is serving them according to the law.

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leedavid 4 years, 3 months ago

Forget education. This is about can one government entity that uses government funds to sue the government? Which is an interesting question. A military member for example may not sue the federal government for the same reason.

Correction kugrad. The school system does not represent the people. They serve the people at the pleasure of the people. We can do whatever we like to them or for them.

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kugrad 4 years, 3 months ago

This is a ridiculous attempt to usurp the checks and balances in our government. It does not make any sense to suggest that publically funded organizations which represent the people and have no other funding be excluded from suing the state. It is not as though they have any other means of getting the money to do so. Remember that school administrations are governed by elected school boards whose permission they must have to enter a lawsuit. In other words, the districts are representing you in the same way that your elected representatives in Topeka are.

How odd that we have just had a Supreme Court decision arguing that corporations and labor unions should have the rights of individuals and now we have those who hailed that ill-advised decision seeking to silence another group.

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ComradeRedRooster 4 years, 3 months ago

If they have money for lawsuits then the districts have too much money.

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barrypenders 4 years, 3 months ago

PAD's need a special Tax leveled on them to pay for Taxes they demand.

Stimulus, PAD Tax, and Posercare live unprecedented

Darwin bless you all

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leedavid 4 years, 3 months ago

Eride....can you help us find this in the constitution?

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tolawdjk 4 years, 3 months ago

Isn't a lawsuit freedom of speech? Private money can speak but public can't?

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Eride 4 years, 3 months ago

Not really.

It's a waste of time seeing how it is without question unconstitutional.

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