Archive for Monday, November 7, 2011

Brownback sets up meetings across state to discuss child poverty

In this Jan. 12, 2011 file photo, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback delivers remarks during his State of the State address in Topeka. Brownback has initiated meetings to address childhood poverty, planned for this month. Nearly a quarter of Kansas children are living in poverty, the governor’s office said.

In this Jan. 12, 2011 file photo, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback delivers remarks during his State of the State address in Topeka. Brownback has initiated meetings to address childhood poverty, planned for this month. Nearly a quarter of Kansas children are living in poverty, the governor’s office said.

November 7, 2011


Meeting schedule

The meetings on children’s issues will be held from 1:30 p.m to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Jack Reardon Convention Center in Kansas City, Kan.; Nov. 16 at the Drury Hotel in Wichita; and Nov. 17 at the Dennis Perryman Athletic Complex in Garden City.

TOPEKA — Child welfare advocates say they are pleased that Gov. Sam Brownback has initiated meetings to address childhood poverty but are concerned about some earlier Brownback actions.

“We’re delighted to see the governor elevate the conversation,” said Shannon Cotsoradis, president and chief executive officer of Kansas Action for Children.

But Cotsoradis said she is worried about a directive from Brownback to state agencies to reduce Children’s Initiatives Fund expenditures in their proposed budget submissions. Some of those submissions have proposed cuts of nearly 30 percent, she said.

If approved by the Legislature next year, those cuts “would have a devastating impact,” on programs that provide newborn screenings, early childhood education and other services to children and their families, she said. Funding for the CIF comes from payments made to the state from the master tobacco settlement, which in turn goes to programs that serve about 200,000 Kansas children.

Nearly a quarter of Kansas children are living in poverty, the governor’s office said.

Brownback has said reducing the percentage of children living in poverty is one of his top goals.

“Studies show children who grow up in poverty are less likely to succeed in school and later in life,” Brownback said.

Brownback has set up three meetings “to gather insights and strategies to reduce childhood poverty, increase childhood educational outcomes and decrease child abuse and neglect.”

He has put Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services Secretary Robert Siedlecki Jr. in charge of the meetings.

“Every Kansan has a stake in the outcome of this initiative,” Siedlecki said. “I am hoping that everyone concerned about childhood poverty will attend these meetings and participate in these discussions, regardless of their vocation or background,” he said.

But the format and times of the meetings have raised some concerns.

The meetings are from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., which will decrease the chance of people who work during the day to attend.

And the format of the meetings, which Brownback has called “town hall meetings,” will have those attending divided into small groups for discussions with a facilitator at each table. Attendees also are being asked to register before attending.

Kari Ann Rinker, state coordinator of Kansas National Organization for Women, said the format and time of the meetings will thwart open dialogue.

“It prevents the expression of legitimate public concerns about the issue of childhood poverty,” she said.

Brownback’s office disagrees. The format allows all participants to be heard and have input, said Brownback’s spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag.

It is the same format the Brownback administration used for meetings held on Medicaid issues, which Jones-Sontag said received a lot of positive impact.

As far as having the meetings during the day, she said that will give advocacy groups more of an opportunity to participate. Nighttime meetings are more difficult to attend, she said, especially for people who have children.


Cait McKnelly 6 years, 2 months ago

Pardon me while I wipe the coffee off of my computer screen. Talking the talk doesn't mean squat until you walk the walk, guv'ner.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 2 months ago

My thoughts exactly. He can "discuss" it all he wants, the Koch brothers aren't going to let him do diddly about it though. There's no money in it.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 6 years, 2 months ago

He's going to put those lazy, malingering, street urchins TO WORK!

Orwell 6 years, 2 months ago

Is this sarcasm or the sort of sick, twisted, hateful spew we've come to expect from so-called "conservatives" who live only to hate?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"Why do liberals expect Brownback to take care of their children?"

Actually, we want him to take care of your children, as they are probably in need of it.

appleaday 6 years, 2 months ago

Unfortunately, children don't get to choose who their parents are.

Kate Rogge 6 years, 2 months ago

Why do you believe that poor children have a political party?

parrothead8 6 years, 2 months ago

It's funny you should mention the liberal/conservative (Dem/Rep) divide on this issue, because the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University has compiled mountains of data on the numbers of children in the United States. They've determined that the states with the highest rates of child poverty are AL, AZ, AR, DC, GA, KY, LA, MS, NM, NY, NC, TX, and WV.

If I'm not mistaken, the large majority of those states typically vote Republican.

If you were smart, you might do a little research before spouting off so as not to appear so, um, wrong. Good day.

Liberty275 6 years, 2 months ago

Q: Why do liberals expect Brownback to take care of their children? A: Because someone has to.

I think you should remember that obamaflation is still sitting at 9%. Given that it takes two incomes to run a household, a lot of households are underfunded right now, to the extent that children are living in mild poverty. While I'm not really concerned about the parents, we should always be concerned about every American child and do everything possible to make sure they have food to eat and a warm place to sleep.

Punish the parents for being bums or just unable to find a job. Fine. But if parents can't feed their children, then it becomes societies job. Yeah, it's not our job. I know. OTOH, how can you accept a 6 year old going to bed hungry because his parents are idiots?

You are right about not having children you can't afford. I get it, you get it. But not everyone is bright enough to get it. Frankly, I'm surprised half our species found their way out of the trees.

I like liberals about as much as you do, as in, I don't like them. We probably don't like them for different reasons. But kids aren't liberal or conservative. They are hungry little mouths that didn't ask to join the party. I don't like my money being taken by various governments, but my money that goes to save a child from even more misery is money I'm happy to do without.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 2 months ago

Because Brownback expects pregnant women to HAVE them whether they want them or not. No excuses. This means even spending the gajillion dollars on medical expenses if they're severely deformed and only live for three days. So yeah, if people want him to put his money where his mouth is then he should.

question4u 6 years, 2 months ago

Lemmings do not leap off cliffs to winnow their numbers. It's cute that someone actually believes that though.

Kyle Chandler 6 years, 2 months ago


mloburgio 6 years, 2 months ago

The meetings are from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., which will decrease the chance of people who work during the day to attend. The koch brothers have their own fleet of buses to take the tea baggers from event to event.

mloburgio 6 years, 2 months ago

‘Pro-Life’ Republican Kansas Governor Guts Funding For Dying Infants

Another supposed “pro-life” governor has decided that children outside the womb are less important than those inside the womb. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback is gutting the agency responsible for child protective services, child support enforcement, and child, adult and family well-being services, after a failed attempt to slash funding for Head Start.

Reducing the number of children in poverty is supposedly one of Brownback’s goals but cutting essential services that aid vulnerable children is NOT helping them stay above the poverty line. It leaves children in serious risk of dying from hunger or sickness. And the statistics are not in Kansas’ favor. The state dropped to 40th in infant mortality, and has the terrible distinction of being the worst in the country in terms of African-American infant mortality. Governor Brownback is an enemy of children in Kansas. He is killing children with the destructive policies of the religious right, so that he can replace them all with fetuses that will be at risk after birth. It’s a sad reality we are living in, when we allow children that are already born to die in an effort to control what a woman decides about her pregnancy.

kernal 6 years, 2 months ago

FHNC furthering the new definition of a Conservative as one full of malevolence and contempt.

I know this may be hard to accept, FHNC, but liberals aren't the only ones who have children they can't afford. You need to be talking that talk to the leaders of the churches that encourage propagation and/or discourage birth control. You can begin with Mitt Romney and the Vatican.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 2 months ago

My my, give the Gov a chance. Maybe he has a new interpretation of the 'suffer the little children..........' We shall see.

Anydaynow 6 years, 2 months ago

Ho Hum - Another daytime thing and I have to work to take care of my children. So guess I won't voice my opinion, except that the rich set these things up and will carry on without us anyway.

Kim Murphree 6 years, 2 months ago

I predict a cut in spending on programs that directly assist the paretns of children in poverty, especially those who are children of single parents. I predict that millions of dollars will be thrown at a campaign to force people to stay married, even if there is spousal abuse or child abuse. This is the Governor's solution, and it is Siedlecki's agenda. No real assistance for chilidren in poverty, only a conservative social agenda that has little basis in finding equity for those children. If someone loses a spouse to illness or accident, they just need to run out and find another spouse--that's the Governor's agenda cleverly, but not so subtly, hidden within the discussion of how to get children out of poverty.

Getaroom 6 years, 2 months ago

FHNC: you enjoy stirring the soup don't you, as long as you get to offer a stinger and get out.

You never disappoint in delivering another consistent heap of narrow minded drivel.

And lest we are ever tempted to forget: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines."

I bet the wanna be statesman, Rev Gov Brownbackward, loves you and blesses you daily from under that no-hair-outa-place preachers perfect hair do.

Jock Navels 6 years, 2 months ago

that how the street out front of your house was paid for? or your police protection? or your fire protection? or your oil from Iraq? or the school your children attend? give me a break, bro'. this country was built on cooperation and team work. looking out for poor kids is a kindness and goodness of biblical proportions that is apparently beyond your mental scope. you might move to somalia or afghanistan...they have extremely minimal government in those countries.

ivalueamerica 6 years, 2 months ago

Fact: Total federal spending on a safety net for the poor costs the average taxpayer about $400 a year, while spending on corporate welfare programs costs the same taxpayer about $1400 a year. (source: CBO figures)

Fact: Individuals and families must demonstrate need to receive benefits, while corporations with billions of dollars in annual income remain on the federal dole.

Fact: Most social spending is in the form of discretionary spending, which is scrutinized in the annual budget negotiating process in Congress; most corporate welfare programs are in the form of tax expenditures, which go on and on since they are not subject to annual review by Congress.

If we were really worried about government spending and keeping people from relying on public assistance, should we not prioritize the problem?

billbodiggens 6 years, 2 months ago

The good gov would do well to resign from office and accept a job with SRS. An endless series of endless meetings, some for the sole purpose of scheduling more meetings, seems to be his forte - a perfect match for the seriously cognitively-impaired-bureaucrat-social-service type. Ah yes, the sound and the “flurry” of the Governor. . .

Jayhawk1958 6 years, 2 months ago

So let me get this right. Brownback wants to cut child services but also outlaw abortion?

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 2 months ago

Brownback may not believe in PREbirth abortion but he sure as heck believes in it POST birth.

tolawdjk 6 years, 2 months ago

laugh you have got to be the most oppresed man I have ever run across. A single parent female black Native American Jew raising a special needs child would be hardpressed to prove the man has her down as much as you do.

ToriFreak13 6 years, 2 months ago

He has actually been a major supporter of the movement from day one. But most wouldn't know anything about that since they are busy judging.

ToriFreak13 6 years, 2 months ago

Feel free. Look up his record and see for yourself how many times he put his name on a bill or motion to assist in eliminating poverty....Worldwide as a matter of fact. Have fun.

Jayhawk1958 6 years, 2 months ago

I'm sure the questions will be well selected based on support of their cause.

ToriFreak13 6 years, 2 months ago

The link dies. You have to search for Brownback. Should keep you busy.

Kyle Chandler 6 years, 2 months ago

the title should read 'Brownback sets up meetings across state to discuss child poverty....and how to have fun while increasing it'

Go Brownie!

Richard Heckler 6 years, 2 months ago

RINO's show expertise in wasting time and big money.

Brownback obviously has little knowledge or experience in being a governor. He is still doing what he did while in the Washington D.C = running about doing nothing.

Christine Anderson 6 years, 2 months ago

Okay, this is going to be really difficult to say without my comment getting deleted. Too many of you are making the assumption that if parents are receiving public assistance it means we have had children we cannot afford. We are money-grubbing street urchns, right? No!! Some of us had profitable careers when our kids were born. Then bad, very bad things happened, whch now cause us to be unable to work the profession which we spent years getting the degree for. Sometimes it's extreme special needs of one of our children that turn life upside down. Sometimes it's PTSD, And before the trolls laugh that one off, don't. If you have not experienced it affecting every last facet of your life, including your ability to concentrate and have enough self-esteem to succeed at a job, then shut the hell up!

Now, back to Brownback. I happen to be pro-life, but I extend that to children after birth as well as before. I am not convinced that Briownback actually believes what he claims to. AS far as his professing to have concern about Ks children living in poverty-hypocrite!!! Baalam's Ass speaks again. And again....

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 2 months ago

@ToriFreak13 If what you say is true, it makes it even sadder that he can't have as much care and compassion for the children that live in his own state; the state that he governs. So yeah, don't hand me that hogwash. What a person does to "look good" and what they actually do are two different things. A lump of dirt is still a lump of dirt no matter how bright and shiny the package.

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