Archive for Monday, March 21, 2011

Capitol Report: Kansas Senate to mull budget measure

March 21, 2011


Senate to mull budget measure

The full Senate will probably consider a budget recommendation next week, leaders said.

The proposal hammered out by the Senate Ways and Means Committee closes a $500 million revenue shortfall for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

The biggest hit is to public schools, which will see a cut of approximately 5.6 percent, or $226 per student in base state aid. Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, said combined with earlier cuts to schools, education has sustained heavy cuts over the past couple of years.

Quote of the week

“It looks like to me that if shooting these immigrating feral hogs works, maybe we have found a (solution) to our illegal immigration problem.”

— State Rep. Virgil Peck, R-Tyro, commenting in the House Appropriations Committee. Peck later said he was joking and then issued a two-sentence apology, but numerous national groups and legislators called on Peck to resign.

Death penalty bill in the hopper

Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick, has filed a bill on abolishing the death penalty. She said that she doubted there would be a hearing on it this year but that the legislation needs to be considered eventually.

McGinn has been an opponent of the death penalty, favoring instead a life-without-parole sentence. Funds currently spent on expensive death penalty appeals, she said, could be better directed toward crime prevention programs.

‘RINOs’ buttons in crosshairs

A dozen or so people were at the Statehouse on Friday showing support for a proposed constitutional amendment that supporters say would block the federal health care reform law in Kansas.

The people were wearing buttons that had a picture of a rhinoceros in crosshairs. Sometimes moderate or liberal Republicans are called RINOs, or Republicans In Name Only, by their critics. The use of crosshairs in signs has been criticized recently after the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.

House Democratic Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence said the buttons were “disgraceful.”

No sales tax on guided, nonguided hunt fees

The Kansas Department of Revenue has determined that hunting guides and nonguided hunt fees are not subject to state sales tax.

“Governor Sam Brownback is promoting our state’s world-class outdoor tourism opportunities, and this will keep these activities more affordable,” said Kansas Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan.

What’s next

Most of the legislative action will take place before the full House and Senate today, Tuesday and Wednesday.


question4u 6 years, 12 months ago

"hunting guides and nonguided hunt fees are not subject to state sales tax"

No doubt Virgil Peck is ecstatic about that. Now when he gets into his helicopter to go blow away some people he won't have to pay tax if he hires a guide.

tomatogrower 6 years, 12 months ago

"The people were wearing buttons that had a picture of a rhinoceros in crosshairs."

Just keep on being classy, teapartiers, then you'll always be just "a dozen or so people".

gudpoynt 6 years, 12 months ago

$500 Million in budget shortfalls, and public schools are taking the biggest hit.

Meanwhile... the franchise tax is in the process of being phased out, as well as property taxes on machinery and equipment. Corporate income tax is next.

Meanwhile.... all of these tax cuts for businesses are leading to hundreds of millions of dollars in lost tax revenue for the state.

Meanwhile.... the state drastically slashes funding for public education under the premise that the state would go broke otherwise.

Wake. Up. Kansans.

It is pretty clear that the current Republican leadership heavily favors private business over public education, let alone other programs originally designed to help all Kansans, regardless of income level.

All Republicans should take a close look at the tax cuts that are being paid for with cuts to public education and ask themselves who is benefiting the most from these policies, and who is getting the shaft.

trailertrash 6 years, 12 months ago

What happened to the uproar over the remodeling of the state house. Millions upon millions of dollars wasted, by extravagant spending, and not a word about it anymore... If you don't believe it is a joke, then go look at what is happening. It is nice, but it is way overboard. Millions spent on just figuring out what the colors and designs were on the ceiling when it was first built. Next time your kids come home and say they don't have enough money for supplies in school, take them to the state house and show them what extravagance looks like. After all, it is their education that is being spent by your legislators there....

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