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Archive for Monday, February 7, 2011

Brownback signs order to eliminate the Kansas Arts Commission

Gov. Sam Brownback on Monday explains executive reorganization order that eliminates the Kansas Arts Commission as a state agency and replaces it with a non-profit foundation. Brownback wants to abolish the commission as a cost-cutting move to help mend the state's budget.

February 7, 2011

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Gov. Sam Brownback on Monday signed an order to eliminate the Kansas Arts Commission and replace it with a private organization to raise funds.

Brownback said the cost-cutting move would save taxpayers $600,000 in the next fiscal year, but the Arts Commission said its elimination would cost the state millions of dollars in lost matching funds and revenue generated by arts and culture.

“As I said in my State of the State speech, the days of ever-expanding government are over,” Brownback said at a news conference where he signed the executive reorganization order.

Brownback said the cut is needed to protect funding of “the core functions of state government.”

State government faces a nearly $500 million budget shortfall.

The state will allocate $200,000 to the Kansas Historical Society to assist in the transition of the Arts Commission from a state agency. Brownback’s order will take effect July 1 unless the Kansas Legislature rejects it.

Arts Commission representatives had no immediate response, but have posted a number of statements on the agency’s website.

Under the proposal, Kansas would lose $778,200 in direct funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, and $437,767 in indirect grants and services from the Mid-America Arts Alliance, according to the Arts Commission. In addition, the commission said arts and culture generate more than $15 million in state and local revenue.

Brownback said he thought the non-profit replacement group — the Kansas Arts Foundation — would be able to continue to receive federal funds and raise privately.

The foundation’s board of directors was on hand at Brownback’s signing ceremony.

Bob Swain of Topeka said that when the Topeka city council stopped funding the local arts council it resulted in greater community support of the arts.

“It has risen like a phoenix from the ashes,” he said.

Comments

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 2 months ago

This is sand to the tide. It is not a meaningful cut in terms of the budget deficit.

It is meaningful in the culture wars that Sam and his ilk imagine in their heads.

This paltry cut (1/1000th of the budget shortfall) is viewed as a blow to the heart of the perceived intellectuals and uppity high-falutin' types who are imposing their socialist agenda on regular ol' Kansans.

It is another tilt at a windmill in the culture wars. It is nearly meaningless to the budget, but it gets the right-wing populists all stirred up.

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Kontum1972 3 years, 2 months ago

So when do the "Artists Death Squads" take effect?

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Armored_One 3 years, 2 months ago

I see a lot of fingerpointing and name calling, but a lot of you seem to want the cart to arrive a few days before the horse does.

Yes, this is a relatively small drop in a large bucket, but not only do you have to start somewhere, how loudly would you complain if Brownback did the exact opposite and increased the funding in the face of a budget crisis.

Yes, changing the amount of funding for the arts does suck a bit, considering I'm vaguely an artist. But in all honesty, it's really not that bad of an idea to change it to non-profit and at least try to free up a little cash in the budget.

Enough small drops and you get a full bucket.

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Kookamooka 3 years, 2 months ago

I agree with Pace. Republicans want to "Make Kansas Stupid". That should be their bumper sticker. Maybe Kansas already is stupid....Kansas votes Republican.

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pace 3 years, 2 months ago

I buy art. I am surprised Brownbeck and Kochbrotherhood don't have a painting burning party. I am sure they would throw in some science books and glow in the fire light of Kansas culture burning. I find the hate for art, learning, science the most disgusting aspect of the radical right. Kansas has great minds and talents, it doesn't matter if someone is from a farm or working class family. It isn't the toads in Topeka who make this state. It took generations to develop support for the arts, to develop good schools, to develop services to the disabled, Now the plan is to "defund" Kansas programs and give the money to the wealthiest. What is the plan, to transfer the facilities to the "church of Koch"?

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mr_right_wing 3 years, 2 months ago

So now what do you do with this anger and/or disgust? You're probably just going to sit around, blog, complain to some friends and that's it.

Why not use some of that energy in a more constructive way. You're mad? Call the Lawrence Arts Center (or any of a huge number of art-related non-profits in our town) TOMORROW and tell them you're mad and ask them what you can do to help. Volunteer, donate..do both. (if it is that important to you, you'll make the time...or you'll make that extra little sacrifice in your budget...if...if it is important to you, seriously..it's probably not.)

But what will 99% of you do? You'll get on here again tomorrow and repeat the same stuff you posted today, because the arts only mean anything to you if you don't have to move out of your own lazy comfort zone.

Open another bag of potato chips.....is 'glee' on tonight? Hey, that's art related!!!!!

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tennesseerader 3 years, 2 months ago

GOOD JOB SAM! You are doing what you were elected to do.

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swan_diver 3 years, 2 months ago

Brownshirt and his hench-persons are just getting started. But they'll all end up in the same shallow pit at the end of the war, soaked in gasoline, and unrecognizable to all but forensics specialists. Mark my words.

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jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

If the folks that voted for Brownback are happy with his approach, then our system is working as it should.

If, on the other hand, they have any problems with his cutting education and social service funding after he promised to protect them, and cutting arts funding, and proposing eliminating corporate income taxes, then they should let him know.

And, perhaps, not vote for him next time around.

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Liberty_One 3 years, 2 months ago

Look at all the posts where people mistake government for society, as if only the government can fund arts. As if cutting government funding for arts will mean no more art. This move will actually be a boon to art in Kansas. No more subsidizing crappy art. If it's not good enough to find a buyer on the market, then get a job flipping burgers. Nothing brings out quality better than competition for customers. Government funding kills art.

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ivalueamerica 3 years, 2 months ago

This state is going to be ruined before he is through.

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none2 3 years, 2 months ago

I think it is disingenuous to criticizes this because it is such a small amount. Everything starts out a small, but then they all add up. The following URL is dated a couple or so months, but it puts things in perspective at the federal level. Both parties are capable of cutting the small amounts:

http://www.wimp.com/budgetcuts/

If you don't like the way things are headed, then at least be honest and ask yourself: are you doing your part to help this economy? We cannot just tax the rich and expect everything to be fine. We also must produce goods and services that others want. If we don't, then just expect more of these scenarios into the future.

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northtown 3 years, 2 months ago

No need to worry here in Art filled Larryville-They will get the money back by just adding to your sales and property tax.. That is how it works in Lawrence these days-No need to vote,just go ahead and do it. State like all others in trouble-But not lawrence-It always gets what it wants!! Higher taxes coming your way-again When you have a artist that makes his ten grand a year-They don't have to pay the higher taxes-Most rent anyway-Good old Lawrence-Democrats in Kansas-Nothing just ever goes thier way-Soup bowls and Junk art setting around town-Don't worry folks it will still be around-At your expense now-City Taxes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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nugget 3 years, 2 months ago

Yea, you know, the funds to fuel Kris Klownbach's voter registration card for millions of Kansan's has to come from somewhere.

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lossius 3 years, 2 months ago

Let's see, how many minutes of war would $600.000 help funding?

http://costofwar.com/en/

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rgh 3 years, 2 months ago

This is just the beginning folks. Those who voted for him should be ashamed of themselves as you knew going in he was going to cut programs, cut education, and cut just for fun. We need a republican like Bill Graves back in office who really cares about Kansas not his own legacy.

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toe 3 years, 2 months ago

Wait until KPERs is addressed. Lawrence will reach critical mass.

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DB Ashton 3 years, 2 months ago

Art will do just fine on its own; maybe better.

Government needs art more than art needs government. And no amount of art will make this administration look pretty. But then, you asked for it. So enjoy.

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newmedia 3 years, 2 months ago

The unshaven tweed jackets have their dainties in a bunch, again! Long live their continued source of humor...

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overthemoon 3 years, 2 months ago

To Scott Rothschild:

Please see if you can find more information on this 'Commission'. Who are the board members? What is their experience in Arts Administration? How were they selected? Are they gov. appointments? What is their relationship to Brownback...campaign donors? What is their mission or charter. How does it define 'the arts'. How will this commission operate under the State Historical Society?

The potential problem I see here, if these people are appointed by the Governor, is that we will have Government control or censoring of the arts thru selective administration and fundraising. I hope that is not the case and that this move may actually create a more robust means for supporting the arts without the hassle of dealing with a state agency. On the other hand....

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Shane Garrett 3 years, 2 months ago

During lunch??? And cold outside?? I only protest during nice weather and if BBQ sandwiches are being given out. Save the arts! Basketball now that is an art. We need more basketball courts and baseball diamonds.

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Paul R Getto 3 years, 2 months ago

"livingstone (anonymous) says… Why not I say this? Let's just close down Kansas, and move everyone out of the state. We'll solve the budget deficit once and for all..... Pretty good solution?" === LS: The irony may escape some in a state (like most others) where education and public services are 90%+ of the general fund. If Muscular Sam can reduce the budget 5-6% a year and make it stick each time, if the trend continues, in 15-18 years or so, there will be no general fund budget in Kochkansas. Will the last person heading to Oklahoma please turn out the lights?

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notajayhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

There was a recent poll in this paper asking what people suggest be cut to balance the state's budget. The consensus appeared to be 'whatever doesn't affect ME personally'. Everybody wants to continue funding education, healthcare, social services, the arts, etc., etc., etc., and where do they plan to get the money for all that? Simple: raise taxes.

Someone ELSE's taxes, of course.

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mr_right_wing 3 years, 2 months ago

When you just can't afford stuff anymore...you just can't afford it. (We don't have the same option of just printing more money like Obama does.)

It's time for you art lovers to step up and financially (and any other way) support this Kansas Arts Foundation. There are enough people who love art and have the means, they're the ones who now need to act to lessen the impact of this.

I voted for Mr. Brownback to make these tough, no-win decisions...and I promise you, this will not be the last one that will have you crying "the sky is falling!! the sky is falling!!)

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macon47 3 years, 2 months ago

maybe we could take some money from the schools and the old people to fund all of these free art programs the grass root liberals feel are so important,

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thatonedude 3 years, 2 months ago

If anyone feels like complaining about this en masse, we're holding a rally in downtown Topeka on Thursday, from noon to 1pm. There will be speakers from around the arts community in Kansas, a performance by the Topeka High School drumline, and, since it's been decidedly cold out, free hot chocolate.

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jamieg99 3 years, 2 months ago

This is a pittance-- we are facing a larger deficit than this could dent. Kansas, if you're so glad to be rid of us, I'm happy to move. I'll be out of here in 9 months and counting. This place is just too sad.

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lounger 3 years, 2 months ago

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optimist 3 years, 2 months ago

I don't see a role for the state in funding the arts or a number of other agencies for that matter. If the arts are so valuable to you then you should attend fund raisers, cut a check or donate your time and talents in supporting them. Taking money from Kansas tax payers especially in the lean times doesn't make much sense.

Funding the arts should not supersede lowering taxes or other priorities. All of you who are complaining would have the governor take money away from other agencies that actually provide basic services to those in need or away from working families already struggling to get by or businesses which will respond by reducing overhead which means less investing in growth and human resources (i.e. jobs) resulting in more people in need; but of course we would still have the government funded arts for the starving families to appreciate.

What did the arts ever do before government?

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Sean Livingstone 3 years, 2 months ago

Why not I say this? Let's just close down Kansas, and move everyone out of the state. We'll solve the budget deficit once and for all..... Pretty good solution?

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kinder_world 3 years, 2 months ago

Other states are also eliminating their Arts Commission. Texas and South Carolina. These services were add-ons when times where good. Eliminate them. Just as Lawrence should also cut funding to Arts Center and golf course.

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Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 2 months ago

This cut will eliminate jobs, jobs that pour money into the economy.

How many new jobs will be created because of this cut? Tell us, defenders of eliminating jobs, how many new jobs will this spending cut create?

Senator Sam has promised to create 100,000 new jobs, but so far all he has done is eliminated a bunch of them. For every job this cut eliminates, two new jobs need to be created.

So if you favor this cut and this elimination of jobs, then step up to the plate and explain all the new jobs that will now be created once the Arts Commission is eliminated.

And please, no philosophical or hypothetical musings about big government, etc. These are real jobs that spend real money being really eliminated.

You now need to provide real evidence of real jobs being really created.

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jayhawklawrence 3 years, 2 months ago

Obviously, it is a time for sacrifice but it is also a time that challenges us to be creative in finding new ways to generate income.

Time to make lemonade out of lemons.

I think Obama needs to help the aircraft industry in Wichita get back on its feet. The small private aircraft industry especially took a big hit down there and his political rhetoric did not help at all. Time to make amends.

I would also like to see a more creative ideas in how to get Americans buying American made products again. I think they may do a better job with that in other countries, such as Germany.

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zzgoeb 3 years, 2 months ago

Yes, we are nearly buried in junk art here in Lawrence!!! And the more than 200 artists that live here don' t spend any money, or contribute to the community, or pay taxes right? What's wrong with good ol' Governor Sam is the same thing that's wrong with the greedheads that post here!! Art has played such a useless role in life and society; it's really only fingerpainting right? And we all remember the famous artists that came out of the Communist bloc for sure!!! A well-informed citizenry includes one that admires beauty and supports the arts...wake up you knuckleheads...

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consumer1 3 years, 2 months ago

What ? No more money to spend on painted slabs of steel for downtown Lawrence????

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BloodBot 3 years, 2 months ago

Thank goodness! Finally some adults in charge of the kitty! I doubt the great artists of the world developed their skills through finger painting class at the local public trough. Those who appreciate art and want to express themselves always find a way. How hard is it to pick up a piece of paper and and a pencil and create? Most of the art bandied about today is pure trash and without merit. Good art will always find it way to the top, it doesn't need marxist approval or socialism to find it's way into the public's heart.

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 2 months ago

Sam, you are 1/100th of the way to erasing the state's deficit. Now, if only there were 100 more arts commissions to cut.

Sam, when will you start making real cuts? To K12 education and to medicare? How about cutting spending on tax cuts? Stop trimming around the edges.

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bd 3 years, 2 months ago

frickin whiners! What is your solution??

Tea anyone???

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Paul R Getto 3 years, 2 months ago

Kooka: They just might for the P.R. value. They give lots of money to the arts and, as they should, take advantage of the tax breaks. The Kochkansas Arts Commission? Why not.

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Kookamooka 3 years, 2 months ago

I was outraged about his last night. Unfortunately all of the artists I know from other states had a different reaction. They were surprised Kansas had an Arts Commission. I kept hearing disheartening statements like..."Really? What do they do?" So I guess we had a bad backward reputation before this fiasco.

I can tell you this...unless the Koch Brothers single-handedly fund this new foundation, (like they funded the State Theatre in Lincoln Center and changed it's name to the David Koch theatre) it will not be picked up by any one.

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Paul R Getto 3 years, 2 months ago

Minor cuts that may have broad implications. We are artistic chimps and we need that part of our lives to be fully human. Art stimulates deep and ancient parts of our brain that we need for full functionality. In an age where 'academics' are scrutinized, we need the arts to help stimulate the rest of our consciousness. Exposure to art, and artistic training, help build better academic students. The arts will survive, as they must, but this is not good governance and will have unintended consequences far beyond the pittance which is saved.

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overthemoon 3 years, 2 months ago

This may end up being an ok situation, but it would have been a good move to discuss this with various arts groups concerned about the ramifactions of this decision. The fact that he did this today when there is a rally at the State house planned for Thursday is a tangible slap in the face to a fair sized group of his constituents.

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overthemoon 3 years, 2 months ago

Just who are these people on the board of the 'kansas arts foundation'?

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stream47 3 years, 2 months ago

If you like what he's doing for the arts, consider this: "Also, the recommendation includes moving the Human Rights Commission into the Attorney General’s Office. The resources of the two agencies for performing investigations and mediating human rights cases will be strengthened by this staffing combination." That's right, the Kansas Human Rights Commission will be abolished as an independent agency, and put in the hands of that great friend of human rights, Kris Kobach...

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BigPrune 3 years, 2 months ago

It's too bad so much crap is considered art work. Give me an empty milk jug and I'll put a string on it and call it good art. Kansas art sucks. Just look at the final Fridays extravaganza of junk being pushed as art. I know, I know, I don't know art, I just know garbage some consider "art." Good riddance.

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overplayedhistory 3 years, 2 months ago

Symbolic hay that passes for conservatism. Great ya knocked out a whole .12% of the shortfall. Feed the hoople heads scoobie snacks, now report back to the people who own you.

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Mike Ford 3 years, 2 months ago

fascists always attack the arts because they associate the arts with intellect and thought two things fascists don't want to confront. They like their constituency, rural, religious, judgemental, and paranoid. Having been the son of clergy in rural areas I witnessed this firsthand. This governor was the preacher in Footloose wasn't he?

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grigori 3 years, 2 months ago

You can't spell fart without art. . . just saying.

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The_Original_Bob 3 years, 2 months ago

Private money? It'll now be called the Koch Arts Commission. From a purely political standpoint, Brownback did a savy move in getting this out of the way. As mentioned earlier, this is just a drop in the bucket.

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 3 years, 2 months ago

Anyone angry about this needs to send their hate mail the the Democrats and Republicans who sat in that office the 25 years prior. They were the ones that failed to find new industries to supplement the agriculture and aircraft industries in Kansas. They put us here.

Education, the arts, mental health services, etc. all require a robust tax BASE. We don't have that. We can't just do what we want to do; we have to fund it with revenue that comes from a more robust economy than we have in Kansas.

It's not about values as much as it is about ability. We can't fund the things we value. Brownback isn't an idiot. He knows that the arts are meaningful, but he also knows that we can't pay for everything we find meaningful.

I love strip steaks, but it's been a long time (years?) since I bought one from the day-old case at Checkers because I can't afford it. Why do we expect the state to be different?

We need to quit whining about how much we like steak and find a way to enjoy the taste of red beans and rice.

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 3 years, 2 months ago

This is a sad day, but don't blame Brownback. He's trying to fix something that should NEVER have gotten to be this bad.

He has two choices: raise taxes or cut spending. I'm in my mid-40s and all I've seen politicians do is raise taxes, even when I read their lips and their lips said "No New Taxes". We will either be the "cut spending generation" or we'll be the generation that went bankrupt.

If the state goes bankrupt, the Arts Commission and many other programs will die. Let's be glad we can still choose what to cut and what to keep.

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question4u 3 years, 2 months ago

So Brownback is suggesting that Kansas is in such dire financial trouble that we have no choice but to become the only state that won't fund the arts? Mike O'Neil is already suggesting that the future of Kansas is so bleak that we need to lower our expectations for a "suitable" education in a state that, according to the latest U. S. News & World Report statistics, has its high schools ranked 46th in the nation. The message from our leaders is that Kansas is so far in the toilet that we have no choice but to become last among states in funding culture and to try for last place in funding education. Maybe Brownback is right that a low quality of life will attract businesses. After all, Mexico got all those maquiladoras.

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Alceste 3 years, 2 months ago

There is "art" in Kansas?????? WHERE?

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Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 2 months ago

"Bob Swain of Topeka said that when the Topeka city council stopped funding the local arts council it resulted in greater community support of the arts."

And why has that happened? Because the Kansas Arts Commission has increased the amount of funding directed into Shawnee County.

Oops. Somebody tell these guys you don't have to lie to make friends.

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ibroke 3 years, 2 months ago

can anybody tell me how many people the koch brothers employ?

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Jaminrawk 3 years, 2 months ago

Oh thank goodness. I felt like the State of Kansas lost it's national reputation for backwards thinking since they tried to eliminate the teaching of evolution so mnay years ago. It comforts me to know my home state is again setting the ignorance standard in the eyes of the rest of the nation.

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bunnyhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

Well, BrownieBoy has to fund his tax breaks to his business supporters.........we wouldn't want to Koch Brothers to have to pay their fair share of taxes, now, would we?

Seems loss of federal funding for the arts..........the only state in the nation to do something so unbelievably ignorant.........is a small price to pay for keeping the Lords of GOP happy!

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laika 3 years, 2 months ago

$600,000/$500,000,000 = 0.0012%. Brownback better have some actual ideas if he really cares about closing that deficit and not just waging cultural/ideological war.

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pace 3 years, 2 months ago

I mind him closing KNI more. Moving the remaining population to community services is very bad. The community services aren't equipped to handle the severely disabled. It has taken decades for KNI to develop some of the physical resources and they can concentrate the special trained personnel on site. Losing the institution means the population who needs to be institutionalized won't really have a place to go. it will end up draining the community organizations so they can't or will have even more trouble serve their existing clients. Most are all ready at capacity. It will kill some of the people moved. The governor's blithe response that he will move the population to community settings is a lie. He will not take the responsibility he won't feel responsible. He won't be responsible for any thing more than saying "don't worry, trust me". Hold your breath if you think he really will call around for empty beds.so b

If he was serious on the budget, really wanted to save money, cut the economic adventurers funds, the subsidies to corporations, the tax cuts to the wealthiest.
No, he will cut the services to the arts, environment, the helpless, the families, schools and send the money saved to the koch brotherhood's economic adventurers club.

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friendlyjhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

May his signing hand curl up and rot. Let's hope the next thing he cancels has the same piddly budget that KAC had and generates that same $15 million in state and local revenue. An eye for an eye should now be called a budget for a budget.

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coderob 3 years, 2 months ago

This is really about bringing us back in line with all of those Kansas stereotypes. The next step is to ban all crops but the sunflower and brick over I-70 with gold.

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Steve Jacob 3 years, 2 months ago

"commission said arts and culture generate more than $15 million in state and local revenue."

You got to love how people just pull numbers out of thin air.

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jstthefacts 3 years, 2 months ago

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md 3 years, 2 months ago

Good job Sam! We are in trouble and need to cut anything it takes to bring solvency to Kansas.

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TJ_in_Lawrence 3 years, 2 months ago

Facts are facts. We must cut spending. It's not fun. But you cannot spend more than you take in. Tough times require tough decisions. Funny the people involved with the Kansas arts foundation are not screaming that the world is coming to an end.

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seeker_of_truth 3 years, 2 months ago

Wed, Brownie declares the earth is only 6000 years old and man shared the earth with dinosaurs.

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cowboy 3 years, 2 months ago

tuesday " Brownback declares world is flat"

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seeker_of_truth 3 years, 2 months ago

Can we defund the entire Brownie administration and the Repugnant controlled legislature?

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bluerose 3 years, 2 months ago

i despise republicans.

well, actually, all politicians. they are all liars.

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Thunderdome 3 years, 2 months ago

And the steady devolution begins. By the end of his term, Brownback will have us all whipped into the subservient knuckle-draggers he's envisioned.

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macon47 3 years, 2 months ago

i think it would be neat if the folks that enjoyed the arts supported it, ,, what a novel idea?

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irvan moore 3 years, 2 months ago

ah, the art of governing, if only it could be defunded.

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mom_of_three 3 years, 2 months ago

Brownback said he thought the non-profit replacement group — the Kansas Arts Foundation — would be able to continue to receive federal funds and raise privately.

He thinks? He didn't research it before he made the decision? This could affect the Kansas state historical society, and other organizations, which are important to kansas and its history. But he THINKS it could receive federal funds.

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