Archive for Monday, May 2, 2011

Kansas legislative committee rejects deeper cuts to school aid

May 2, 2011


— Two attempts by several House Republicans on Monday to make deeper cuts to the state budget were rejected by a group of Democrats and other Republicans.

“The governor has continued to say, ‘make cuts, make cuts,’ and that is what I’m attempting to do,” said Rep. Owen Donohoe, R-Shawnee.

The first plan offered by Donohoe and Reps. Anthony Brown, R-Eudora, and Kasha Kelley, R-Arkansas, would have cut further base state aid to schools.

Base state aid is $4,012 per pupil. But an earlier position approved by the House would drop that to $3,762 per pupil.

Initially, the Donohoe-Brown-Kelley amendment would have cut that to $3,602 per pupil. But the three legislators softened the proposal before the Appropriations Committee on Monday by reducing base state aid schools by $98 per pupil to $3,664.

Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, however, said combined with earlier school cuts approved by the House, that was just too large a chunk to take from schools.

“That is just too heavy a cut for me,” Ballard said.

Several committee members also complained that the amendment was made too late in the session and without knowledge of the effect the cuts would have. Key House and Senate members already are negotiating a budget plan, and the session is expected to end this week or next.

“I oppose making cuts without the understanding of how they will impact programs,” said Rep. Sharon Schwartz, R-Washington.

Ranking Democrat Bill Feuerborn of Garnett said that in his 15 years on the Appropriations Committee, “I’ve never seen a proposal this late that would have such a devastating effect on the budget. It’s mind-boggling.”

The amendment failed 4-14.

Then Rep. Gene Suellentrop, R-Wichita, proposed a 2-percent across-the-board cut, excluding public schools, human service caseloads, prisons and several other areas. But it would have sliced higher education another $14.3 million, including $2.6 million at Kansas University, and $2 million at KU Medical Center, and it would have cut some disability services.

That proposal failed on a closer vote, 9-11.

Supporters of the deeper cuts argued they were needed to build up the state’s ending balance in case projected tax revenues fall short. Gov. Brownback, a Republican, has urged legislators to increase the ending balance.

“All we’re trying to do is get in a better position in the out years,” said Brown.


sierraclub 7 years, 1 month ago

They need to cut out entitlements, welfare, food stamps, and others first.

Scut Farkus 7 years, 1 month ago

You are absolutely correct. We need to totally eliminate any funding for those who need it the most. I would go after the physically and mentally disabled next and of course any programs that might help the elderly have to go as well. By doing this we can further reduce taxes on the wealthy allowing them to spend more money and help the economy.

sierraclub 7 years, 1 month ago

I never said anything about the physically and mentally disabled.....gee... So, in order to please you, the government needs to tax the people who earn a living more? What is considered wealthy? A person with a job? A kid with a lemonade stand? When do the welfare and entitlements end? Gee.....get a clue.....

deec 7 years, 1 month ago

Type of Household. 32 percent of our food assistance cases are composed of 1 adult with children. 11 percent are two parent households with children. 5 percent are other family situations with children. The elderly and disabled make up 32 percent of the caseload and other kinds of cases with no children make up 20 percent. The average household size of a food assistance case is 2 persons."

pace 7 years, 1 month ago

much easier to refute an argument if you change the other persons words. You changed "wealthy" to " a kid with a lemonade stand". What, you thought no one would notice? Who do you think gets food stamps? The elderly, the infirm have some secret food source?. The physically and mentally handicapped are often on food stamps. You should at least make valid points. Plus the story is about schools.,

paraman 7 years, 1 month ago

How can anyone expect better education for kids if you continue to cut funds for education...Are our congressmen totally stupid or what?

notorious_agenda 7 years, 1 month ago

It was the republicans who stopped this. If they all voted yes, It would have passed.

justoneperson 7 years, 1 month ago

Republicans proposed it. Some Republicans opposed it.

William Weissbeck 7 years, 1 month ago

At what point do the people of Kansas wake up to realize that the GOP plan is to create a two-tiered education system. One for the commoners, and another composed of parent funded affluent public schools and "good Christian" schools. Don't believe me? Look to Indiana where they just passed a school voucher plan where a family can receive $2,500 per year per student to use at any private school and the money comes directly from the funds allocated to local school funding.

Jan Rolls 7 years, 1 month ago

Donohoe is going to be in trouble when people in johnson county realize what she just proposed. Probably will be the end of her.

Elaine Elliott 7 years, 1 month ago

The Rep from Eudora wants to cut more out of the budget? They are already charging $500 for Kindergarten next year. What a jerk.

scarlettohara 7 years, 1 month ago

So can will you actively campaign against Anthony Brown next election cycle? We desperately need to send him to the unemployment line!

notanota 7 years, 1 month ago

If they're worried they won't have enough tax revenue, raise taxes. Otherwise, it's pretty obvious that they're just not serious.

MyName 7 years, 1 month ago

Right... do you know what the tax rate was in the 90s? Would it be so bad to go back to the 90s? You don't have to be a tree hugger to think that if they're having to make cuts this deep maybe they should rollback some of the tax cuts they handed out in the past 10+ years.

deec 7 years, 1 month ago

"Income. 31 percent of all food assistance cases have earned income. 11 percent have income from child support. 27 percent have Social Security income and 23.5 percent have SSI income. 14 percent of all food assistance recipients report no income. Of the food assistance recipients who lose eligibility each month, 10.5 percent lose eligibility due to earnings from employment. (Note: Cases can be counted in multiple income categories.)

Time on Assistance. The average time on assistance for a food assistance recipient is 17 months. 27 percent receive for 6 months or less. 41.5 percent receive for one year or less."

MyName 7 years, 1 month ago

It's the cowboy Republicans vs. the Democrats and some Moderate Republicans (or as the cowboys like to call them "the RINOs"). You can clearly blame the Republicans as there isn't a huge wedge of the Democratic ticket that is supporting this, though to be honest you just need to check how your representative voted and compare to your own feelings on the subject.

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