Archive for Monday, August 15, 2011

Statehouse Live: State senator who defied Brownback’s move to kill state arts funding gets award

August 15, 2011


— A Kansas legislator who stood up to Gov. Sam Brownback and tried to preserve state funding of the arts received a national award Monday.

State Sen. Roger Reitz, R-Manhattan

State Sen. Roger Reitz, R-Manhattan

State Sen. Roger Reitz, R-Manhattan, was the recipient of the 2011 Public Leadership in the Arts Award, which was presented by the National Conference of State Legislatures and Americans for the Arts.

During the past legislative session, Reitz fought Brownback's executive order that essentially eliminated the Kansas Arts Commission.

Reitz was able to muster bi-partisan support in the Senate to reject the executive order.

He then helped secure $689,000 in funding for the Arts Commission in the budget that was eventually approved by the Legislature.

Brownback, a Republican, however, used his authority to line-item veto the funding, making Kansas the first state in the nation without a state-funded arts agency.

Brownback has argued that state funding of the arts is not a core function of state government and that private funding will replace state taxpayer assistance.

Reitz said he was honored to receive the award. "The award draws attention to the value of consistent public funding for artistic education," he said.

Robert Lynch, president and chief executive officer of Americans for the Arts, said Reitz displayed political courage, and his stand "has served as a rallying cry for other arts advocates across the country."

Lynch added, "His advocacy for the arts in Kansas not only demonstrates his commitment to public funding for the arts but also to the people of Kansas who -- had the funding for the Arts Commission been saved -- would have continued to benefit from the arts and the financial benefits they provide for all of the state's communities," he said.

Reitz received the award during the annual NCSL meeting in San Antonio. The annual award honors a public official who has shown outstanding leadership in the advancement of arts at the state level.


Ralph Reed 6 years ago

"Robert Lynch, president and chief executive officer of Americans for the Arts, said Reitz displayed political courage, and his stand 'has served as a rallying cry for other arts advocates across the country.' "

Outstanding. More people should stand up for what's right.

kscountryboy 6 years ago

Spending my hard earned dollar for the arts is not right!

llama726 6 years ago

Literally a dollar, most likely.

plainspeaking 6 years ago

it's 24 cents per Kansan, and it's our money, not yours.

George_Braziller 6 years ago

kscountryboy lets put it into a reference point for you.

You enjoy a beer after work. You drink two in the evening (but of course never on Sunday). Might have three or four on Saturday while you're mowing the lawn. Average a 12 pack. per week.

Works out to 624 aluminum cans a year. It takes approximately 30 aluminum cans to make a pound. You now have 20.8 pounds of aluminum.

Drop those cans off at a recycling center and you are handed cash at the rate of about $.45/pound. Adds up to $9.36 in your pocket. Deduct the 24 cents for arts funding for an entire years and you still have $9.12 in your wallet.

You've covered the per person cost of supporting the arts and still have enough to by a 12 pack.

kshiker 6 years ago

The award will look outstanding on the wall in his home office when he is defeated for reelection in the primary next year.

WilburM 6 years ago

Not running for reelection in 2012.

optimist 6 years ago

That explains where the "political courage" came from.

thebigspoon 6 years ago

Wow, really a low blow. Do you know this guy? Is it possible that some people really have integrity and honor? Maybe he just believes in something strongly enough to fight for it. Ever think of that, or just know intrinsically that nobody has any courage?

Paul R Getto 6 years ago

Kshiker: You may be right. The CINOS are going to seriously target any Republican who is not sufficiently ideological. Mullah Sam, head of the American Taliban, KKKansas chapter, has spoken. Should be interesting to watch all this play out and see how it goes.

tomatogrower 6 years ago

But there are people out there who are going to work on a backlash against the CINOS.

bklonnie 6 years ago

"Brownback has argued that state funding of the arts is not a core function of state government and that private funding will replace state taxpayer assistance."

Neither is the faith-based initiative programs and positions he's created.

Tracy Rogers 6 years ago

No kidding....let's go through the budget line by line with a yellow highlighter and mark through all the non "core functions of state government."

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Yes the greater majority of republicans were eliminated from Congress by RINO and CINO money so the same approach will be implemented in Kansas.

These CINO/RINO folks will be going after democrats in a big way. The CINO/RINO characters will be posing as Republicans and Democrats so voters beware.

STOP electing RINO’s ! My father in law left the RINO/CINO party because he is a fiscal conservative socially responsible republican with at least 50 years under his belt. Evermore stunning he is working with the democrat party in Pennsylvania. My father in law supports Social Security and Medicare in a big way but not the long drawn out war.

bklonnie 6 years ago

rockchalk must not believe in a balanced budget either, since he/she supports people like Brownback/Siedlecki who are creating new top-level positions to the tune of $300k+. And your comment about spending other people's money is something that just what kills me about the conservatives in this state; they just can't quit making hypocritical remarks.

pittstatebb 6 years ago

Of course, you do realize the budget projection was just that. Also it was wrong as we now have a surplus.

question4u 6 years ago

Eliminating the Arts Commission balanced the budget? Yeah, and the coupon that saved you 50 cents on a six pack of Coke paid for your new car. LOL

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

"RINO/CINO"? That's a new one, isn't it? I expect we'll be seeing it dozens of times in the near future.

BigDog 6 years ago

Expect Brownback and Koch Bros. to invest time and money in trying to defeat Senator Reitz in the Republican primary. A Republican will win this seat .... the question is which kind

Kontum1972 6 years ago

Expect Brownback and Koch come out of the closet in the near future...

kernal 6 years ago

kshiker and optimist, after reading your posts I wondered why Reitz isn't running next year so checked his bio. Turns out he will be eighty years old next year and has been working in the state legislature for the past nine years. Most of us would be happy as pigs in mud to accomplish as much in our lives as he has in his.

naturalist 6 years ago

Thank you Sen. Reitz for standing up for the arts in Kansas!

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