Archive for Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kansas Democrats unveil jobs, gambling proposal

December 20, 2011, 9:58 a.m. Updated December 21, 2011, 12:12 a.m.


— Democratic leaders on Tuesday proposed modifying Kansas’ 2007 gambling laws to help expand state programs to train unemployed workers, repair infrastructure and help small business.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, of Topeka, and House Minority Leader Paul Davis, of Lawrence, said the state could create new jobs by changing existing gambling laws to encourage development of a southeastern Kansas casino and slot machines at three race tracks.

Called Kansas Jobs First, the 14-bill package looks to retrain workers who need new skills. It also would share some gambling money with cities and counties for local infrastructure projects. The package would cost the state $11.1 million in fiscal year 2013 beginning July 1, 2012.

“There’s no more important issue, we believe, for the Legislature to spend its time than the issue of creating jobs for the people of Kansas,” Hensley said. “Families are still struggling to keep a roof over their head, to pay for their child’s doctor bills, to keep their gas tank full. Kansas workers are still hurting.”

The state Department of Labor said Tuesday that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Kansas was 6.5 percent in November, down from 6.7 percent in October. More than 91,000 were residents out of work.

Kansas allows for four state-owned casinos under the 2007 law, which also authorized slot machines at three dog racing tracks. One casino is open in Dodge City and another, the Kansas Star, opens the day after Christmas. A third will open in early 2012 in Wyandotte County.

Democrats want to spur development of the fourth zone in southeastern Kansas by lowering the current $200 million investment threshold to $100 million to encourage investors. In addition, Democrats would modify the percentage of revenues that racetrack owners would collect to encourage them to reopen closed facilities.

Democrats would like to use a portion of the gambling revenue to address a backlog of maintenance projects at Kansas universities. The repairs to buildings and other infrastructure are estimated to be close to $900 million, Hensley said.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback said legislators would be busy enough this session without reopening the often thorny issue of gambling.

“We welcome all ideas on how to create jobs in Kansas and look forward to working with all Kansas legislators in the coming session to move our great state forward,” Brownback said Tuesday. “Our focus is on the full agenda already proposed with KPERS reform, pro-growth tax policy, Medicaid reform, school finance and water conservation.”

Republicans have argued that the state should not rely on gambling revenue to pay its bills and have been reluctant to reopen debate on modifying the law to help southeastern Kansas or the race tracks. Davis said the state should have revisited the issue in 2009 and 2010 when it was trying to close budget gaps caused by the Great Recession.

In 2014 the package would generate $5.4 million for the state primarily through new revenue from the racetracks, Democrats said. That amount increases to $15.4 million in 2015 when a new casino would likely open in the southeastern zone, either in Cherokee or Crawford counties.


motercyclejim 6 years, 5 months ago

Here's there plan. Raise taxes for job creattors like me and destroy marrage!!!!

David Albertson 6 years, 5 months ago

I think the last decade has proven that tax cuts for wealthy has nothing to do with job creation. If there was a positive correlation, we'd have jobs out the wazoo. In fact, history suggests there's a negative correlation. Under the Clinton administration, taxes were raised for the so called "job creators" and yet we had massive job growth. Bush cut taxes and jobs evaporated. Kinda smashes the GOP theory that tax cuts cure everything.

Liberty275 6 years, 5 months ago

"I think the last decade has proven that tax cuts for wealthy has nothing to do with job creation"

Then why take more their money?

David Albertson 6 years, 5 months ago

Because we've had soaring deficits ever since they got a huge tax break. That's why.

ivalueamerica 6 years, 5 months ago

I understand you have a problem with the wealthy paying as much tax as the middle class.

I, on the other hand, do not feel the wealthy should pay less than the middle class.

Hooligan_016 6 years, 5 months ago

Oh my ... I really don't know where to start for a reply ...

somedude20 6 years, 5 months ago

Marriage is being destroyed by the people who use it (about 50% split up) and if you are a job creator, do a better job as the "creators" have had one hell of a tax break for the past ten years but yet jobs are not being created (maybe it is time for a rebate from the "creators" since you have been failing at creating)

tolawdjk 6 years, 5 months ago

"There" plan is most likely silent on "marrage". "Marrage" is doing a fine job of destroying itself regardless of political affiliation. As to job "creattors", I think any option should be looked at should Boeing end up pulling out of the state. If that should occur, I'm not exactly sure how any political party could pull us out of this tailspin, taxes or no taxes.

However, I do think that education needs to be looked at again when it’s obvious that we can't even accomplish readin' and 'riting correctly. I know a 77% correct spelling rate is technically passing; however people need to stop considering a successful primary school education a tool of the liberal elite.

Neomarxist123 6 years, 5 months ago

Borrow and spend. Its always the dems plan for everything.

David Albertson 6 years, 5 months ago

How was Iraq paid for? How was Afghanistan paid for? How was Medicare Part D paid for? How were both rounds of Bush tax cuts paid for? Deficit spending is how. All of that was passed by a Republican controlled congress and signed in to law by a Republican president. So who does the "borrow and spend" thing that you talk about?

David Albertson 6 years, 5 months ago

Most of that spending was already set in motion before he took office.

bearded_gnome 6 years, 5 months ago

The Democratic leaders say their 14-point "Kansas Jobs First" plan focuses on creating jobs, protecting workers' rights and strengthening training and education programs.

---ROTFL!!! self-cancelling. won't increase jobs. these fools still think the major purposes for businesses are to pay taxes and make up jobs, regardless of profit!

Obamanomics: spend our way to prosperity; borrow our way out of debt; and regulate ourselves into full employment.

yeah, the dem plan will really work ... like not.

besides, using the way that the Tea Partiers were evaluated, clearly Kansas Democrats are very racist. and using the Jesse Jackson method, their programs disproportionately impact minority groups negatively, so by that method they're racist too.

David Albertson 6 years, 5 months ago

Another Fox News junkie. It's amazing how conservatives ignore the facts and blame Obama for everything that went wrong under Bush. What are you going to do when Obama get re-elected?

Armstrong 6 years, 5 months ago

Obama has had 3 years to do something, so far he has accomplished .....?

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 5 months ago

About 250 things if you'd open your mind and look instead of being so quick to condemn.

Armstrong 6 years, 5 months ago

Name 10 things he has accomplished that improved the economy, promoted the US as a world leader and or improved foreign relations

Hal Larsen 6 years, 5 months ago

Since you asked:

Even provides a link for reference.

Armstrong 6 years, 5 months ago

Yes those are either laughable or a failure. Next contestant

Fossick 6 years, 5 months ago

I'm going to laugh when he gets re-elected. Loud and long and clear. Though it's sure going to be tiresome to hear his minions blaming Bush 6 or 7 years in for all his woes.

Jan Rolls 6 years, 5 months ago

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

Armstrong 6 years, 5 months ago

That's pretty funny. Fido is going postal with the hate rants over nothing Fossick said.

Fossick 6 years, 5 months ago

So is it all 4 of the Kansas Democrats? Or does it just take 3 to announce that the party is going to make a plan that will go nowhere?

David Albertson 6 years, 5 months ago

Things are looking better and better every day. Can you say "4 more years"?

Anyone see the stock market today?

These angry GOPers are going to blow a gasket when he gets re-elected.

Newt? Romney? LOL!!

Bob_Keeshan 6 years, 5 months ago

How interesting that the negativity and attacks are against a plan the posters didn't even see.

Talk about sheep.

Fossick 6 years, 5 months ago

Nope, talk about people with a grip on what's news and what's not. This is a story announcing a plan to announce a plan that will result in exactly nothing. How is that news?

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 5 months ago

Yes, you are correct, Fossick.

The media should just ignore anything coming from one of our two major political parties just because they are in the minority and have little real power.

Sounds like a great plan.

Fossick 6 years, 5 months ago

This does not even qualify as "anything." "Democratic leaders are preparing to announce..." means that there's no announcement, but an announcement of an announcement sometime in the future. Maybe.

Whether or not it will go anywhere, I'll admit, is possibly irrelevant - perhaps there will be an idea or two that the other party that makes up 2/3 in the House and 3/4 in the Senate can grab onto. Maybe. But the plan is not even in the article. Instead, it's a story about a plan to make an announcement about a plan.

It's fluff. Pap. Rubbish. And it deserves to be mocked as much as a similar announcement coming from Libertarians in Topeka or Republicans in Massachusetts. Show the plan and you have a story. Announce your intention to have a plan and you have nothing.

Bob_Keeshan 6 years, 5 months ago

In Fossick, we have an example of the male sheep, referred to as a ram.

Rams are known to butt heads with other males to determine dominance. Sadly, as in this case, often they take too many sharp blows to the head.

Fossick 6 years, 5 months ago

We are know to be butt heads as well.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 5 months ago

In Kansas the job killing machine is Gov Sam Brownback and the republican party. This job killing machine is a 24/7 initiative!

Richard Heckler 6 years, 5 months ago

The primary USA job killing machine is the republican party and they are a superb act!

Introducing the 24/7 Republican Job Killing Machine Policy:

  1. TABOR is Coming by Grover Norquist and Koch Bros sells out state governments, public schools,SRS services etc etc to private industry = Grab Your Wallets!

  2. The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist aka home loan scandal sent the economy out the window costing taxpayers many many $$ trillions (Cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion), Plus millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance.

  3. Bush/Cheney Home Loan Wall Street Bank Fraud cost consumers $ trillions, millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. Exactly like the Reagan/Bush home loan scam. Déjà vu can we say. Yep seems to be a pattern.

  4. Bush/Cheney implied more than ONLY 3 financial institutions instead of several were at risk so why $700 billion in bail out money? One of the biggest lies perpetrated to American citizens. Where did this money go? Why were some banks forced to take bail out money?

  5. Tax cuts are the ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy which do nothing to make an economy strong or produce jobs. Tax cuts are a tax increase to others in order to make up the loss in revenue = duped again.

Yes Bush entitlement tax cuts are Still A Bad Idea The ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class = duped one more time.

In the end big debt and super duper bailouts were the results which does not seem to bother Republicans, as long as they are in power.

In fact, by the time the second Bush left office, the national debt had grown to $12.1 trillion:

  • Over half of that amount had been created by Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy.

  • Another 30% of the national debt had been created by the tax cuts for the wealthy under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

• Fully 81% of the national debt was created by just these three Republican Presidents.

elkwc36 6 years, 5 months ago

Your post is so full of inaccuracies that it isn't worth the time it would take to respond. Please try reading some fair, open minded sources and quit believing the biased reporting from the Liberal media.

oldvet 6 years, 5 months ago

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

nativeson 6 years, 5 months ago

I am surprised by Representative Davis. His comments about the gambling law are disappointing. State santioned gambling is the most regressive tax on the books. It clearly has proven to be destructive to working families. Somehow we justify this tax because it is voluntary.

The state will fine you for not wearing a seatbelt. I would argue both situations are dangerous to health and well-being. One situation has immediate danger, the other long-term danger.

Politicians that argue for equity in our tax code and support expanding the gambling statute are speaking out of both sides of their mouth.

elkwc36 6 years, 5 months ago

I also imagine Mr Davis is one who voted for the smoking ban everywhere except in casino's. It is amazing to me that cigarette smoke is bad for a person if inhaled anywhere except in a casino. I'm one who is highly allergic to cigarette smoke. So likewise can't visit the Dodge City casino. I know some who have and they have said it would be too much for me. Again if a Lib or a RHINO can see a dollar for a pet project they could care less about the average taxpayer. They like to pound their chests and sound all concerned but all you have to do is look at how they vote.

kochmoney 6 years, 5 months ago

You do realize that it's an acronym spelled 'RINO' and that spelling it any other way makes you look like an idiot, don't you?

jhawkinsf 6 years, 5 months ago

If tax cuts have not caused the job creators to create jobs, then raise their taxes. And if anti-poverty programs have failed to end poverty, despite trillions being spent nationwide, then slash their budgets. And if our military industrial complex, having spent even more can't win wars against Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., nor can it prevent wars, then slash their budgets as well. There we go. Simple solutions for simpletons.

elkwc36 6 years, 5 months ago

I agree. Being that the welfare rolls continue to increase cut the budget. Sounds like a good idea. Don't imagine the Libs and RHINO's would agree though.

kochmoney 6 years, 5 months ago

Oh my goodness this post made me laugh, but not for the reasons you think it should.

Fossick 6 years, 5 months ago

Democrats, FTW. State-sponsored gambling is a tax on people who are bad at math, but at least it's a voluntary one.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 5 months ago

Sin taxes, gambling, smoking, drinking, etc., are taxes that are paid voluntarily. I have no problem with that idea.

kochmoney 6 years, 5 months ago

I don't have a problem with a cigarette tax, but that doesn't mean we should restructure them in order to increase tobacco investments or open closed cigarette lounges. I'd also have a problem with it if the state decided to start making Kansas brand cigarettes to start selling in order to finance education projects.

verity 6 years, 5 months ago

I think the problem with gambling is that it is one of those things that ends up costing the state more in the long run than the revenue it brings in. Wasn't gambling (the lottery?) originally supposedly to pay for a large hunk of our education costs? If I remember correctly, it was being run by an out-of-state company and most of the profits went to them, not Kansas. I haven't been able to find anything about that online.

verity 6 years, 5 months ago

I googled "cost of gambling to government."

While there seems to be a lot of disagreement as to the collateral costs of gambling, this article seems to be one of the better researched ones.

I also think that government should not be encouraging addictive behavior, which I think this would be.

Kansas Lottery website:

The website is very positive about money received from the lottery (of course, one would expect that). However, a number of other articles, while not focused directly on Kansas, show that as a percentage of total expenditures, lotteries aren't that lucrative. (Kansas is mentioned sixth paragraph from the end.)

"Now, a New York Times examination of lottery documents, as well as interviews with lottery administrators and analysts, finds that lotteries accounted for less than 1 percent to 5 percent of the total revenue for K-12 education last year in the states that use this money for schools.

In reality, most of the money raised by lotteries is used simply to sustain the games themselves, including marketing, prizes and vendor commissions. And as lotteries compete for a small number of core players and try to persuade occasional customers to play more, nearly every state has increased, or is considering increasing, the size of its prizes — further shrinking the percentage of each dollar going to education and other programs."

verity 6 years, 5 months ago

I think that jobs should be the primary focus both on the national and state level. I don't think that more gambling is the answer and am very disappointed that the Kansas Democrats didn't come up with a more viable plan.

pace 6 years, 5 months ago

They will pass the extra gambling, but unhappily the money being bad, will have to go to economic adventures. Tradition. I would rather they used it as frosting to eduction, you know, art, science, music.

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