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Archive for Thursday, November 4, 2010

Brownback begins transition to governor

November 4, 2010

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— Sam Brownback began his transition back home to Kansas on Wednesday, setting up shop in the Statehouse and meeting with the governor he replaces in early January.

After 16 years in Washington — two representing the 2nd District in the House and 14 in the Senate — the 54-year-old Republican returns to face looming budget challenges and an economy stuck in low gear.

“I love this state, I really do,” Brownback said in an interview with The Associated Press after being declared the winner Tuesday. “But we’ve got to get government out of the way. There is reason to be optimistic.”

Brownback met with Democratic Gov. Mark Parkinson on Wednesday to discuss handing over the reins. Statehouse crews were converting two legislative committee rooms into Brownback’s transition headquarters. Parkinson named a three-member team to help the process, headed by Lt. Gov. Troy Findley.

“Together, we will work together to ensure that critical services are not adversely affected by the transition,” Brownback said in a statement after the meeting.

The governor-elect planned to hold a news conference today to announce his transition team.

Certain to be a topic over the next few weeks will be projections for the 2012 budget.

A group of economists and researchers have forecast that despite a 1-cent increase in the sales tax in July, the current budget is about $60 million short, if all obligations are met. The bigger problem is the 2012 budget with an estimated shortfall of $500 million, due in large part to an increase in caseloads for social services, pension obligations and the expiration of some $492 million in federal stimulus funds used this year.

A freeze in government spending along with program cuts are at the top of Brownback’s list of methods for squaring the books.

Stephanie Bessent, a Lawrence dental office manager, considers herself “a strong Republican.” She voted for Brownback, not liking what she’s seeing at the state or national level. Bessent also thinks government should stop enabling people through entitlements and make them contributors to society.

“I don’t have any opinions about what he needs to be doing, other than that I’m unhappy with what’s going on,” said Bessent, 37.

Brownback does have the luxury of strong Republican majorities in both legislative chambers that will give his agenda a warmer reception.

After Tuesday’s election, the House swung significantly to the right, picking up not only seats but also more conservatives who will be receptive to scaling back state spending. According to unofficial results, Republicans would have as many as 92 of the 125 House seats, if the outcomes stand.

Comments

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 9 months ago

“I don’t have any opinions about what he needs to be doing, other than that I’m unhappy with what’s going on,” said Bessent, 37.

Yup, that pretty much sums it up. We don't want responsible government, we want ear candy.

Here's hoping Ms. Bessent has kids whose school will soon be closed. I wonder if she'll have an opinion about that?

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Jefferson_County 3 years, 9 months ago

Come on, Bob, didn't you realize that Sam has a magic wand? I think he covered that in the campaign. If things don't improve, it's sure to be someone else's (cue the trolls) fault. The groundwork is already being laid.

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Beavis4you 3 years, 9 months ago

She is 37, probably has a good job that won't get affected by the zealot coming in. To me he is one of the scariest people I've seen...creepy.

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lounger 3 years, 9 months ago

Scary Sammy got eight percent of the vote in our neck of the woods in East Lawrence!!

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overthemoon 3 years, 9 months ago

Why the Korean Dictator name??

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kthxbi 3 years, 9 months ago

I thought you didn't have any pinkies, making it difficult to use the shift key?

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 9 months ago

Will Brownback freeze state spending? He cn do it if he wishes, with the large GOP majorities in the house and senate.

Brownback is in the rare and unenviable position of being able to do just about anything he wants.

What will he choose to do?

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openminded 3 years, 9 months ago

Didn't vote for Brownback myself. I am an employee of the State of KS and one of his platforms was that the State voted for another raise last year...he won't let this happen while he's gov. Let me tell you...that was our first raise in over 3 years! We have had no Cost of Living raises, no nothing. Then on top that that, our insurance rates rose, so basically, the raise we got was taken away. So, Brownback, we will see what happens. The last thing you want is for Corrections Officers to walk off their jobs!

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trinity 3 years, 9 months ago

sing it sister-or brother, as the case may be. i too am a state employee, no cola's for years, nothing. my particular neck of the woods-we were promised a 15% raise, about FOUR years ago; then they decided to "split' it over 3 years, 5% each year. many of us ol' timers laughed&realized at that time we weren't likely to see the raise. after getting the first 5%-we were proven correct. yep, insurance has jumped, everything else, too. i hope it does not get worse-but i'm afraid it will.

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 9 months ago

Yep, we will see. Brownback does not seem to value state institutions or the people who work in them: corrections, K-12, university, transportation, law enforcement.

It will be interesting to see if he actually freezes state spending, which will of course mean no pay raises and even the possibility of state employee furloughs.

As governor, Brownback will be able to do anything he wants, with little or no opposition.

The choice is his.

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Alceste 3 years, 9 months ago

"....a Lawrence dental office manager....thinks government should stop enabling people through entitlements and make them contributors to society....."

That is some REALLY funny stuff! These "office managers" really are assassins in the truest sense of the word: They get a piece of the action out of every "dental procedure" they sell in their "treatment plans".

Only the wealthy and well heeled have dental insurance anyway.....what would a "...dental office manager...." have a clue about relative to the real world? No wonder the "dental office manager" "likes" Brownback. Let them eat cake, right?

The great thing is that most of these dentists lost their shorts in "the market"! Thus the need to SELL YA some procedure....hahahahahahhaha.....Beware when you're sold a product or procedure by a "...dental office manager...."....they're like dealing with the finance manager at a car dealership......perhaps even a tad bit worse.

It is poetic justice that a "dental office manager" and Brownback see "eye to eye".....and what a hoot....the term...."ear candy".....Great!

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trinity 3 years, 9 months ago

"Only the wealthy and well heeled have dental insurance anyway"-what on earth are you talking about?? this is a gross mis-statement if ever i saw one. i am a state employee; i am most certainly NOT wealthy OR "well heeled" (oh god, give me a break lmbo), and i do have dental insurance. why don't you get facts before spouting off? by the way-i'm about as anti-brownnose as anybody, in fact maybe even more so. have had the dubious pleasure of meeting some of his family members. ugh.

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lgreen17 3 years, 9 months ago

Great, another year without a pay rise, yet everyone has their hands out!

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acg 3 years, 9 months ago

Ugh, I hate that Brownback puke! He's a douche

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Jimo 3 years, 9 months ago

Governor: Scott Roeder called and wanted to know when he can check out.

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think_about_it 3 years, 9 months ago

Sore.Losers.

Time for you freeloaders to get jobs. Playtime is over.

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lawrencefan 3 years, 9 months ago

Hey there think_about_it: Do you have a list of jobs available that will pay enough to get a household above the poverty line? Even a short list? If so, I'm sure there's many here that would be more than willing to apply. And you would be doing your part to help get the local economy on its feet. Otherwise, come up with some other snappy narrow minded drivel to express yourself.

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jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

Really?

So you think $10,800/year is a lot of money??

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Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

Any skilled tradesman can double the poverty line with ease. Any family of a skilled tradesman with a working wife can quadruple it easily. Add to that the personal responsibility of not bringing excessive children into the world and you have a family that can live a fairly comfortable life.

It isn't easy as the skill required of a good tradesman takes years of study and experience as does an equally-well paying job for the wife. You can't be lazy or too good to get your hands dirty while learning and in the beginning you need to live pretty lean.

As for "many here" applying for the job, a good portion don't have the intellect to handle a trade and far fewer also have the skill-set. Maybe the smart guys that know everything can pimp out the BA daddy bought them for a job as a clone in a nice cubicle. Otherwise, the world needs people to flip burgers too.

(side note - anyone trying to make hay of my seeming hostility towards college degrees is barking up the wrong tree. I have a graduate degree.)

Those of you looking for the shortlist, if you haven't already found it, it doesn't exist in your world. Enjoy your jealous and petty greed. It and the table scraps of better citizens are all you will ever have.

Mr Fan, It's OK to call me narrow minded and label my opinion drivel. I know well enough who I am that I can safely ignore others' opinion of me. Keep in mind though, I'm not the one asking for a list of jobs, and neither is the OP of this thread.

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timetospeakup 3 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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sbobandme 3 years, 9 months ago

As taxpayers my wife and I hope he does something about Haskell.

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redfred 3 years, 9 months ago

Haskell is Federal and not under state control.- DUH

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JustNoticed 3 years, 9 months ago

“But we’ve got to get government out of the way. There is reason to be optimistic.” Yes, be optimistic if your name is Koch. Not that Democrats are any less pimpish, but at least they occasionally try to supply a little vaseline.

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timetospeakup 3 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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wmathews 3 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed because it linked to a story naming a suspect in a sex crime. As a policy, the Lawrence Journal-World does not name suspects in sex crimes until there has been a conviction. That includes linking to this story in the comments of stories posted on our website.

Whitney Mathews Online Editor

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timetospeakup 3 years, 9 months ago

Would be nice, then, if somebody could investigate why this arrest disappeared from the court records. Could be related to his sister working for sebelius.

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eastside 3 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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redmoonrising 3 years, 9 months ago

I honestly hope Ms. Besssent never is injured or ill and left disabled and unable to work. As to government, it needs to stop pointing fingers and start policing itself.

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bruno2 3 years, 9 months ago

Brownshirt, Moron and Kob**ch, axis of evil. Say goodbye to public schools, access to health care, and voting rights Kansas. So ye sow so shall ye reap.

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Alceste 3 years, 9 months ago

trinity (anonymous) replies… "Only the wealthy and well heeled have dental insurance anyway"-what on earth are you talking about?? this is a gross mis-statement if ever i saw one. i am a state employee; ".....

State civil service workers are part of the "well heeled" in this Hillbilly state......as more and more and more of your benefit package is reduced; as your own costs go up; as your dental co-payments go up and up and up.....because state civil service workers ain't got no union. Take a look at the dental plan the City and County workers have; take a look at what teachers here in Douglas county get; take a look at what the police and firefighters get......they're just more better well heeled than the regular state civil service worker.

Most people don't have dental insurance.....that ".... dental office manager....." doesn't see anybody but the well heeled in that "dental office". shrug

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