Archive for Monday, March 14, 2011

Kansas Democrats say GOP legislators not focused on economy

March 14, 2011


Republicans, who hold a significant majority in the state House of Representatives, are pushing issues that have little to do with improving the economy. At least that’s what Democrats in the Legislature say.

His party outnumbered 92-33, House Democratic Leader Paul Davis, of Lawrence, ticked off a long list of issues that Republicans muscled to the forefront just last week.

They include more abortion restrictions, increased regulation of sexually oriented businesses, an Arizona-like crackdown on illegal immigrants, decreasing a tax break for working poor families, eliminating the corporate income tax and trying to change the Kansas Constitution to put public schools and higher education under direct control of the governor, Sam Brownback, a conservative Republican.

“The extreme wing of the Republican Party has got the train moving at full speed,” Davis said.

The week before last, the House GOP took aim at unions, approving a bill that prevents unions from collecting dues through members’ paychecks that can be used for political purposes, and prohibiting public employee unions from endorsing candidates.

But House Speaker Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson, defended the House GOP’s work product.

He said it is not unusual for the House to advance many of its policy issues to the Senate while the committees are working on state agency budgets.

“Our caucus is very interested in drilling into these budgets,” O’Neal said. “They are still very focused on the fiscal side of the equation.” The state faces a nearly $500 million revenue shortfall for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

But Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley, of Topeka, said much of what House Republicans have pushed through hasn’t gained traction in the Senate even though Republicans in the Senate hold a 31-9 majority.

For example, he said, the proposed constitutional amendment by O’Neal to abolish the State Board of Education, whose members are elected, and Kansas Board of Regents, whose members are appointed, and create a Cabinet-level secretary of education would be “dead on arrival in the Senate.”

Voters, Hensley said, want legislators “to be doing things to create jobs.”

When asked to comment on the legislating going on over in the House, Senate President Steve Morris, a Republican from Hugoton, focused more on what was going on in the Senate.

He noted the Senate has approved bills dealing with workers’ compensation, unemployment compensation and business taxes. He also pointed out that Senate Republicans proposed an initiative to increase the number of engineers produced in Kansas, a plan that was also praised by Democrats.

“Our folks believe trying to work on providing additional jobs to the state should be our priority,” Morris said.

Davis said a defining moment of the 2011 legislative session occurred last week in the House during debate on the bill to add more restrictions to strip bars.

Democrats tried to amend the bill to make it easier to build a casino in southeast Kansas. Republicans blocked the measure.

“Instead of creating new jobs, extreme Republicans are playing morality police,” Davis said.


BigPrune 6 years, 8 months ago

Is this really worth an article? Who is Paul Davis anyway, the guy with the incredibly high dollar restoration business or something?

question4u 6 years, 8 months ago

Is this worth an article?

How often does a political party have roughly a three-to-one majority in both the House and the Senate and end up in deadlock? How often does the House propose an ending surplus of $35 million and the Senate a surplus of $20 million yet end up with 0 because House Republicans' refuse to negotiate with Senate Republicans.

When Steve Morris says “Our folks believe trying to work on providing additional jobs to the state should be our priority,” the "folks" he is talking about are Senate Republicans AND Democrats, now made into allies by House extremism. It doesn't matter whether Paul Davis or anyone else points it out, a gulf has opened up within the Republican party. That gulf will lead to significant consequences if it is not addressed.

Yes, that is worth an article, no matter whether you're a Republican, a Democrat or anyone else.

Thinking_Out_Loud 6 years, 8 months ago

Paul Davis is the Kansas House Minority Leader and the duly elected Representative from the 46th District. Which would explain why he's qualified to give interviews on the topic at hand.

Whether you agree with his politics is irrelevant to his qualifications to speak to the issues, BigPrune. Talk to the issues, rather than try to ignore them because you dislike the speaker.

gudpoynt 6 years, 8 months ago

everybody cares about jobs. To believe otherwise is to believe the demonizing rhetoric spewed forth by the outspoken pundits of your partisan news sources.

The disagreement comes in implementation. The Republican continue to lean toward trickle down -- i.e. give businesses more breaks to create more jobs. The Democrats continue to lean more toward stimulus -- i.e. put more money in the pockets of low and middle income consumers to increase demand for goods and services.

who's the moth breather? Don't you listen to anything?

MyName 6 years, 8 months ago

Do you actually believe there are any liberals in elected office in Kansas? When your party has a 2-1 majority and control of the governorship, and can't pass a budget, then you need to find another scapegoat besides the "dang liberals".

Dan Eyler 6 years, 8 months ago

I have a sneaking suspicion that the republicans in the senate will come around. There are only two or three senators that need to be turned out and the senate will be in line with the house. The economy will be no better in the next year and spending will continue to be reduced. Kansans understand this and more democrats and a few more republicans will need to go. Lets see how this turns out! I mean what are our choices, democrats and higher taxes?

Bob_Keeshan 6 years, 8 months ago

The economy will be no better so voters will reward the right wing? Good for you.

MyName 6 years, 8 months ago

Yes, because clearly the two options are either turn it over to the cowboys from western kansas, or let the Dems run things. Compromise in order to actually get a budget that works shouldn't ever be an option. Bill Graves, Mark Parkinson, and Bob Dole are obviously anomalies.

Kirk Larson 6 years, 8 months ago

Republicans are great at creating China.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 8 months ago

The problem Republicans are having right now is that most of the programs they are looking at cutting exist for very good reasons. But now their tax-cutting agenda and rhetoric of the last few years (tax cuts for the rich and the businesses they own, that is, everybody else gets a tax increase in the way of increased sales taxes) has their backs against the wall.

If they follow through, all of us will suffer in some way or another, but especially the most vulnerable among us will suffer, and the quality of our schools will decline. At least a 1/3 of Republicans know that they're damned if they do, and damned if they don't, and those folks, coupled with the Democrats, form almost enough for a simple majority. That's why nothing is happening on the budget yet.

pace 6 years, 8 months ago

It is ridiculous, neither party has pushed for an economic agenda patterned on the $. Democrats should, Republicans should. simplify and equalized the tax code. Dems and Rep. should pounce on foreclosures, stabilizing them, protecting the housing stock and keep people in homes. Instead we get social modification laws debating the 'traditional" family and that based on pre war fantasies. My grandmother was a single mother, she raised 10, now we want to punish women and children. . We are stripping our infrastructure with no accounting of the cost, just transferring the support money to finance economic adventures. We are transferring the completely disabled from a state facility to community sheltered work programs. The unique population will strip the resources to serve the population they can serve and will KILL some or the transferees. Are we ready to protect Kansas. We will sympathize with the neighbors who lose their farms and streams to unregulated industry, free of environmental oversight, rules and regulations are now stripped from KDHE and it's professional trained staff and transferred to a Governors appointed committee. If we strip hospitals of doctors and nurses, they will be cheaper to run, That is the economic budgeteers we have elected. When we have a disaster,which we will, the wars have left our national guard stripped, Brownback doesn't want to think about it. Is Koch oil profits safe soaring and tax sheltered? Better than ever.

Brock Masters 6 years, 8 months ago

Some of what the House is doing is good and some is bad. I believe in limited government so their intrusion into the private lives of the people is troubling to me. Morals are not universal so I resist the imposition of one set of morals on others.

As long as your set of morals, as long as your way of life does not infringe upon my rights then I have no say in how you live your life.

It makes me go nuts when I hear a politican speaking out against "sin." Really? You get to define sin? One man's sin is another man's pleasure and there is no master list that is universally accepted.

So, unless the "sin" harms me and that harm can be proven emperically, keep your morals to yourself.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 8 months ago

The split in the GOP over the budget is what is slowing things down. I am sure that if the right wingers in the GOP could, they would be happy to "deal with" the economy. Trouble is, the more moderate GOPers stand in the way.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the GOP, and where Brownback will roost.

somedude20 6 years, 8 months ago

Yinz guys (GOP) are acting like total jagoffs! Leave the strippers alone and put some more loot in my paycheck or at least fix the budget. Stop spreading your morals around as they smell bad!

Jan Rolls 6 years, 8 months ago

Give them a break. They have created one job already for the Lt. Gov.

tomatogrower 6 years, 8 months ago

What! The economy. But we have to stop those nasty strippers. And look at all the voter fraud that keeps getting us elected. We must put a stop to it, now. We get plenty of money from our backers, so our economy is just fine.

allamerican4ever 6 years, 8 months ago

get rid of the illegals then the economy cleans itself up. money walking over the border everyday. lawrence companys helping them do it

Kontum1972 6 years, 8 months ago

how does that strong hand feel....squish squish....!


Fatboy2002 6 years, 8 months ago

I don't think we'll ever have to worry about KS going totally Democrat. We obviously can't get past the social issues, so we'll always be a Republican state.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 8 months ago

  1. Read this plan that is also a KOCH plan with Grover Norquist leading the charge. This is the republican plan for state by state economic ruin. TABOR feeds more of our tax dollars to wealthy corporate America and empties the cookie jars of state treasuries.

Also all of this talk about privatization of anything brings with it more cost to taxpayers. Among the reasons why :

A. High CEO and BOD salaries

B. Shareholders

C. Stock Options

D. Maybe a corp jet

E. Golden Parachutes

F. Over Charging aka fraud. That’s right it is corp America that perpetrates fraud against America and we taxpayers. There is plenty of documentation available.

FOR EXAMPLE: Billions in over charges bi the medical insurance industry = YOU PAID instead of them

weeslicket 6 years, 8 months ago

if i read this article correctly, the republicans (the true believers, not those rinos) argue that: 1. we've been jacking you all around for a while now, and thanks for all those votes. please keep voting to get jacked around. (abortion is bad) 2. just wait until we REALLY come up with a "budget".
take that up your jackwad, populace. (abortion is bad) and thank your for continuing to vote for us. we're your pals.

REWARDS: the conservative republican party had succeeded in eliminating abortion ENTIRELY from the following communities:

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