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Archive for Monday, February 14, 2011

Capitol Briefing: No steam behind bill to abolish State Board of Education, Kansas Board of Regents

February 14, 2011

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Quote of the week

“Bigotry wrapped in prayer is still bigotry.”

— Pedro Irigonegaray, counsel for the Kansas Equality Coalition, testifying in favor of a bill that adds protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Not much push to abolish state education boards

A bill to abolish the Kansas Board of Regents and State Board of Education and allow the governor to appoint a secretary of education has been drafted for the Legislature but isn’t getting much traction.

Several attempts have been made to change the Kansas Constitution to do away with the 10-member State Board of Education, but voters have rejected those measures. The education board, which oversees kindergarten through 12th grade, is elected.

The nine-member regents board, which oversees higher education, is appointed by the governor. The regents seem to have a lot of support among legislative leaders.

“I don’t know that I would want them (the Regents) included in that (proposal),” said Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton. Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka said the status quo is fine with both boards and he was “befuddled” by the proposal to abolish the regents. The measure will receive a hearing before the House Education Committee.

Bill would put leftover inauguration funds to use

Gov. Sam Brownback is pushing for approval of Senate Bill 67, which would allow incoming governors to donate leftover gubernatorial inauguration funds to a charitable organization.

Before taking office, Brownback had said he wanted leftover funds from his inaugural ball, which raised money through ticket sales and cash contributions from supporters, to go to charity. But state law requires that the money go toward the swearing-in ceremony and upkeep of Cedar Crest, the governor’s residence.

“And I believe those who give their financial support to an inauguration would want the residual funds go to an organization whose mission is to assist Kansans in need of a hand up rather than used to supplement the budget of a governmental agency,” Brownback, a Republican, said in written testimony to the Senate Elections Committee.

Sen. Kelly Kultala, D-Kansas City, quipped that maybe Brownback wanted to donate his leftover funds to the Kansas Arts Commission, which Brownback wants to abolish.

Rules proposed for candidate PSAs

The controversy over elected officeholders running public service announcements, which appear to be self-serving, close to an election has been a running dispute over the past couple of election cycles.

Two bills would rein in candidates. Under the measures, neither the candidate, image of the candidate nor the name of the candidate may appear in state agency-sponsored public service announcements or advertisements 60 days prior to the primary or general election in the year his or her name appears on the ballot.

Speaker pushes to prevent filling up state prisons

House Speaker Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson, has cautioned legislators about approving legislation that provides incarceration for nonviolent offenses. There are a multitude of such proposals in the hopper, including providing prison time for identity theft and home improvement fraud. With the state prison system nealy full, O’Neal said he would rather prison space be available for violent offenders than nonviolent ones.

What’s next:

• 3:30 p.m. today: Hearing on House Concurrent Resolution 5006, proposed constitutional amendment prohibiting executive branch or judiciary from directing Legislature on appropriations, before House Judiciary Committee, Room 346-South, Capitol.

• 3:30 p.m. Tuesday: Hearing on House Bill 2254, establishing “covenant” marriages, before House Judiciary Committee, 346-South, Capitol.

• 1:30 p.m. Wednesday: Hearing on House Bill 2249, adding bath salts to controlled substances schedule, before House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee, Room 144-South, Capitol.

• 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday: Hearing on House Bill 2218, abortion regulation based on pain to fetus, before House Federal and State Affairs Committee, Room 346-South, Capitol.

• 3:30 p.m. Thursday: Hearing on House Bill 2260, preservation of religious freedom act, before House Judiciary, Room 346-South, Capitol.

Comments

Kookamooka 3 years, 10 months ago

Is Brownback even living at Cedar Crest? He seems very disdainful of any government "hand out." His aversion to all things "governmental" makes me doubt his affinity for our state. A government is something OF the people, BY the people and FOR the people. He is anti-Kansas and pro big business buddies.

Joseph Jarvis 3 years, 10 months ago

Has anyone asked (or Brownback said) which charities he would support if given the authority?

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 10 months ago

So who ends up footing the bill for Cedar Crest then? Oh yeah, the taxpayers do.

Heaven forbid Brownback's friends pay for him to live in the Governor's mansion. Soooo much better for the taxpayers to pick up that tab.

After all, housing the Governor is one of the "core functions of government".

Amy Albright 3 years, 10 months ago

When I google House Bill 2260 it says it's a home inspector bill. Are you sure the "preservation of religious freedom act" is HB 2260? I'm curious to know what the bill is all about, but I can't find any more info about it.

rolo2383 3 years, 10 months ago

Maybe I misread the article but I didn't see anything about Brownback not living in the Governors mansion.

I don't know what the griping is about. He wants to donate extra money to charity. What's wrong with that?

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 10 months ago

It means taxpayers have to foot the bill for Cedar Crest instead of his campaign contributors.

Perhaps we should just start "donating" sales tax receipts to the charity of Brownback's choosing, too.

notanota 3 years, 10 months ago

He should have held a charity ball for whatever charity he wants, not an inaugural ball with predetermined rules as to where the excess money goes.

grimpeur 3 years, 10 months ago

Who drafted the proposal (this time)?

Key bit of info left out of the story.

lawslady 3 years, 10 months ago

Go to www.kslegislature.org and look for bills. Then type in the number. Make sure it is for 2011 versions. They re-use the numbers. Read them all if you have the time/stomach for it.

Here are a few of the bills printed up this year that you may want to check out (remember - it costs $$ for every time one of these is drafted, printed up, distributed etc. - even for the ones that go no where):

HB 2254 - Creating covenant marriages in Kansas. Allows covenant marriages = harder to get a divorce if you have that kind of marriage.

SB 68 – Creating the healthy youth act – requires each secondary board of education and public school district to provide sex ed which emphasizes the benefits of abstinence

HB 2260 – A law to preserve religious freedom in Kansas

SB 167 - The health care freedom Act (see also, SCR 1604, HCR 5007 and HB 2129 doing same thing)

HB 2063- Designating a state fossil

HB 2146 – Naming the peridot as the official state gemstone.

HR 5009 – Opposes the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory trainwreck. See also HR 6008. Does the exact same thing.

HB 2163 – SAME MATTER as SB 82 and SB 93. All attempt to amend K.S.A. 22-4610. HINT: use same bill and save $.

HB 2127 – Requiring that cities demand that federal and state governments coordinate with them in making state law applicable within the city

HB 2099 – Creating the Kansas goat council

cowboy 3 years, 10 months ago

Kansas has reached anew level of pathetic , uber pathetic

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