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Archive for Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Panel slams Brownback proposal to move juvenile justice programs to SRS

November 29, 2011

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— Republican and Democratic legislators on Tuesday approved a motion seeking to stop Gov. Sam Brownback from moving several juvenile justice programs to the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services.

The action by the House-Senate Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice came after law enforcement and juvenile experts said the plan by Brownback, a Republican, would harm programs that are helping young people and keeping the public safe. They also said it was proposed without any input from experts in the field.

The committee’s meeting produced testy exchanges between legislators and Brownback’s point man on the issue, SRS Secretary Robert Siedlecki Jr.

Several community and law enforcement officials said they were stunned when they learned earlier this month that Brownback planned to issue an executive order to move several major programs out of the Juvenile Justice Authority and place them under SRS.

They said the programs, such as intake and assessment of juvenile offenders and prevention grants, were working fine and SRS was ill-equipped to handle them.

The plan was part of an agency reorganization included in Brownback’s Medicaid overhaul.

Two weeks after the plan was announced on Nov. 8, Siedlecki and Juvenile Justice Authority Commissioner Curtis Whitten invited stakeholders to a Dec. 12 meeting “to discuss this exciting opportunity , as well as, the challenges involved with the transition.”

“This sounds like ready, fire, aim,” Committee Chairwoman Pat Colloton, R-Leawood, told Siedlecki.

Colloton and several other committee members said Siedlecki should have sought input and information from those working in the field before making the proposal.

Siedlecki said the reorganization was needed to bring all children and family issues under one agency. He said several other states had done this. He said the current system is working well but added, “I think we can do better.”

But several legislators said Siedlecki had no details on how the system would perform better under SRS. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” said Sen. Tim Owens, R-Overland Park.

Speaking to Siedlecki, who came from Florida last year to work in the Brownback administration, Owens said it was offensive that people have not bothered to learn what is going on in Kansas before trying to change things.

Siedlecki shot back that he has bought a home in Kansas and is paying taxes here. “I prefer you call me a Kansan,” he said.

The meeting room was packed with people who were upset with the Brownback proposal. Many noted that the current juvenile justice system was developed in the late 1990s when it was taken away from SRS because of failings in that agency.

Betsy Gillespie, director of the Johnson County Corrections, has worked in the field for 37 years. She asked, “Why would we disrupt the current system when it has changed so much for the better?”

Ed Klump, representing three law enforcement associations, said the current system allows for local oversight and development in each area of the state.

Mark Masterson, director of the Sedgwick County Department of Corrections, and Stuart Little, with the Kansas Community Corrections Association, also spoke against the proposal.

Sen. Dick Kelsey, R-Goddard, made a motion recommending that Brownback, at this time, not issue an executive order reorganizing the agencies and programs until more research is done.

“This whole thing hasn’t been vetted enough,” Kelsey said.

The committee approved the recommendation on a voice vote. Only Rep. Jana Goodman, R-Leavenworth, voted against the motion.

Comments

cowboy 3 years ago

Siedlecki shot back that he has bought a home in Kansas and is paying taxes here. “I prefer you call me a Kansan,” he said.

This has to be the first management job this A$$hat has ever had. Anyone who has ever managed a large group or made changes to a complex system knows damn well that you need to have some exploration , feedback , and buy in before you ever pull the trigger.

What an amateur hour staff the governor has assembled

jayhawkinsf 3 years ago

You may be right. Things like exploration, feedback, etc. may indeed be necessary to make the changes that are needed. This reminds me a little of Bush's attempt to fix the schools with No Child Left Behind. It may not have had enough exploration, not enough feedback. It may have been an ill conceived attempt to fix a complex system. All that said, we should not lose sight of the fact that the system is broken. The schools were broken before NCLB and they are still broken. And the juvenile justice system and SRS systems here have serious problems that need to be addressed. Surely those that criticize Brownback for rushing into this would also criticize him for procrastination if it fit their political agenda.
I'm no fan of Brownback. He's a twit. But even a stopped clock is correct twice a day. Maybe his solutions will fix this problem, maybe not. But surely doing nothing won't solve anything.

kochmoney 3 years ago

The schools are more broken after NCLB. They were merely unevenly educating before it. In the case of NCLB, doing nothing would literally have been a better solution. Just because something has problems does not mean you need to enact a solution for the sake of "doing something."

jayhawkinsf 3 years ago

Just for the sake of argument, let's say that you're right, that NCLB did in fact make the schools worse. Would you have praised Bush if he had done nothing. I'm just pointing out that it's a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation.

kochmoney 3 years ago

I'd have neither praised nor scolded him for doing nothing, actually. There were so many other things for which to hold him accountable, that continuing the education status quo - much of which is the fault of the individual states - would not have been on my plate.

Given the circumstances in Brownback's case, however, I think he'd win more praise for finding a way to continue the status quo. We all already know most of his alternatives are worse. I'd feel a sense of relief if that was the worst he did.

Lane Signal 3 years ago

Politicians, like doctors, should observe an important part of the Hippocratic oath, "First do no harm". It's not that Bush should have done nothing, just as it's not that Brownie should do nothing, but he should work with those who have experience and wisdom to understand the system. He should work with those who do this kind of work for a living. Brownback does remind me of Bush Jr. They are both so certain they are right no matter how little they know about a subject. Neither has the self confidence or wisdom to listen to opinions different from his own.

tomatogrower 3 years ago

The vast majority of schools are not broken. If you make a video showing a poorly run school district and kids who have no parenting and the school is out of control, you can not generalize it and say that all schools are bad. Each district has their own set of unique problems, largely depending on the economic status of their population. Trying to put the same fix on every school is silly. If the school board, state, city, and most importantly parents, are not doing their jobs, then that's a local problem.

Florida has it's own set of problems which differ from Kansas. This transplant cannot come in and make changes without consulting people who have been here a long time. Yes, it's often good to throw out ideas that are new, but not as a dictator. He hadn't even talked to enough people to know that this method had been tried and failed. I know it's hard to talk to the peons, but they usually know what is going on. You can lower yourself at work; you don't have to socialize with them. Did you use to work for GM?

Lane Signal 3 years ago

I think it depends on what you mean by broken. I would say that it's more the system that's broken. Many schools do pretty well despite NCLB's ridiculous standardized testing requirements, but the time and energy wasted on teaching to the tests hurts students eats up dollars and hours that could be better used elsewhere. Also, NCLB takes money away from schools that do not meet "standards". It looks to me like NCLB was designed by those who have no faith that public schools can offer a good education. NCLB is part of a larger agenda to reduce funding to pubic schools.

tomatogrower 3 years ago

I agree that NCLB has hurt students. And it was meant to fix problems that would be better fixed at the community level. And there were far more schools doing a good job, but they were forced to "fix" their schools.

bad_dog 3 years ago

"And the juvenile justice system and SRS systems here have serious problems that need to be addressed."

Please elaborate on the problems you perceive and how you suggest they be addressed.

AverageCitizen 3 years ago

Mark my words, it is some sort of move to cut into state jobs and/or put in his OWN ideas about how the family should look and operate. No good government needs to change anything unless it is malfunctioning. Since the testimony is that this system is working fine, the only other reason for this move is to achieve something the governor wants. What could that be? It certainly isn't to help Kansas citizens!

Why isn't this bozo working on creating jobs instead?

kochmoney 3 years ago

He is creating jobs. For ALEC's model legislation writers.

itwasthedukes 3 years ago

In case you haven't noticed the entire system is broken financially, but keep living in your dream world.

parrothead8 3 years ago

Given Siedlecki's history, he prefers that you call him a [insert any state where Siedlecki is offered an opportunity for political advancement]-n.

WilburM 3 years ago

Wow. When all the Republican start turning on Siedlecki and Brownback, you know things are getting bad. Time after time, there is no planning, no real consultation, and big push-back. Either they don't care or there is no learning curve or both. Foolish and arrogant. Nice pair.

tolawdjk 3 years ago

Siedlecki shot back that he has bought a home in Kansas and is paying taxes here. “I prefer you call me a Kansan,” he said.

Why, he even moved into his new home with several lovely carpetbags!

Steve Jacob 3 years ago

Have anyone noticed many moderate State Congressional Republicans from the KC area have fought Brownback on many things this year? Kansas is not a right wing as you think.

Eride 3 years ago

Glad to see the legislature standing up to some of the general retardation in the Brownback administration.

Richard Heckler 3 years ago

Members of the legislature need to rein in the "executive order privilege" that is being abused by Sam Brownback. There must be a way.

BigDog 3 years ago

The Legislature already has that ability .... These Executive Reorganizatons will be placed before the Legislature .... they have a period of time to take action to vote them down or they go into effect. .... they are proposals nothing in them are final.

kochmoney 3 years ago

Just like the arts council. We see how well that one went.

cowboy 3 years ago

Anyone in this admin ever heard of a pilot program....granted they would probably put Capt. Wrongway Corrigan in charge of it.

question4u 3 years ago

"They also said it was proposed without any input from experts in the field."

When Brownback is involved, doesn't that go without saying? Experts get in the way, since they advise you not to do illogical things.

bad_dog 3 years ago

“This whole thing hasn’t been vetted enough,” Kelsey said.

Bit of a recurrent theme here, eh?

captainzeep 3 years ago

Sammy and minions can't catch a break. Parade of ineptitude marches on... I predict some staff will be shedding "Kansan" status soon.

Flap Doodle 3 years ago

Get all your little friends together and vote for somebody else come election time, bub

jafs 3 years ago

Oh don't worry - many people will do just that.

But, it's interesting that many Republicans in the legislature are opposing these sorts of things, don't you think?

bad_dog 3 years ago

Don't interrupt Snap. He's busy snarfing down another wild blueberry muffin...

thebigspoon 3 years ago

The difference is that Obama had get the consent of Congress to make his program a living thing. And, now, must fight for the program to remain alive. Brownback neither sought nor paid attention to his legislature. There is a big difference between saying. "this is what I want and so be it" and "This is what I want and please help me to get it done in a democratic way." The facts belie your argument.

And I don't want to hear anything about how the Act may be struck down--that's beyond the pale of your comment.

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

Wow. Things are getting bad when legislators from both parties start ripping into BB's goons. My own reaction to this "proposal" was, "You've got to be kidding me!" However, it's to be expected given that BB hired most of his "human services" people from a state that got into deep doodoo with them at the helm to begin with. (Those that weren't had no experience in social welfare to begin with. One wonders if their outright ignorance wasn't the lesser of two evils.) He doesn't seem to be having much luck with hiring competent people but I guess that's what happens when the only criteria for employment is how shiny you've made his boots.

Jaminrawk 3 years ago

"Siedlecki shot back that he has bought a home in Kansas and is paying taxes here. “I prefer you call me a Kansan,” he said."

Wow, that is pretty lame. Brownback is losing support across the board. The GOP is even getting tired of his BS. No way this clown gets reelected. I would vote for nearly anyone, over him. I seriously hope the GOP has some candidates lined up to run against him. This isn;t a governorship, it's a tyranny.

JayhawkFan1985 3 years ago

Another step in the great leap backward...

tolawdjk 3 years ago

When a man born and raised in Indiana and has had his leg blown off in Iraq has the University of Kansas say "Yep, we are proud to call you a resident of the State of Kansas. Please come here and know that we will give you in-state tuition." Then and -only- then will I consider considering Sidekick a "resident" of Kansas.

As soon as Brownback's term is over, Sidekick is on the next chartered jet to National Airport and K Street. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluding himself.

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

Actually, they did. I'll have to sift through my links, but someone (I think it was the London Daily Mail) quoted a recent approval poll during the Emma Sullivan controversy. I was actually surprised at how low it was.

WilburM 3 years ago

Survey USA, around 40% job approval within the last couple of weeks. And this was before the Twitter mess.

overthemoon 3 years ago

Only up to a point. The costs are still there when the needs are still there. What he's really doing is breaking down the public sector to the point that the 'only' alternative is to privatize everything. And then we're in really really really big trouble.

mloburgio 3 years ago

Siedlecki needs to go back to florida or new york and find his kids. remember children in single familes turn out to be bad kids.

republican christians, they hate in the name of god!

vuduchyld 3 years ago

Welcome to Brownbackistan, it's where Kansas used to be Welcome to Brownbackistan, it's our new theocracy! Brownback and Koch call all the shots, we're governed by the rich The wealthy all get wealthier and the rest can all eat $%#

the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLUfNP...

vuduchyld 3 years ago

Welcome to Brownbackistan, it's where Kansas used to be Welcome to Brownbackistan, it's our new theocracy! Brownback and Koch call all the shots, we're governed by the rich The wealthy all get wealthier and the rest can all eat $%#

the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLUfNP...

bhs1999 3 years ago

Please let it be noted that the Juvenile Justice Authority state organization that oversees the juvenile programs discussed in this article was carved out of SRS in 1997.

wawacat 3 years ago

For a good reason - juvenile offenders were receiving inadequate services. For those of us in the field, that move was a sigh of relief. JO (juvenileve offender) issues, while also having some CINC (child in need of care) characteristics, are a beast of a different nature and were at the bottom of SRS's list of priorities. Even the best staff hated dealing with JO's, for complicated reasons. Not sure what your point is, but it's apples and oranges. JJA's creation was needed; this current heading is asinine.

bhs1999 3 years ago

My point was that it was carved out of SRS, I'm not sure many people are aware of that, and that moving it to SRS would be returning it to the agency it was at. There was a reason(s) it was moved and a whole new agency created, there was a need just as you said.

Getaroom 3 years ago

It is yet another move on the game board for Brownbackward to dismantle what was supposed to be a democratic form of government. And a step closer toward the glorious free(wheeling) market/privatization of public services, a la, a Koch Brothers version of a Libertarian agenda.

Jim Williamson 3 years ago

Dear Legislators:

Good job standing up to the Governor! We're confident that your unified disapproval of this executive order will stop this ill-informed, misguided change from happening.

Sincerely, The Kansas Arts Commission

Kansass 3 years ago

Oh please, you're no Kansan. You're an overpayed temp. that will be gone when the next governor replaces your silly butt. What is going on here? Listen to the people Sam. You're not elected to be dictator. You need to reel this clown in and explain there's a process to things. This states government is out of control and not in touch with reality. P.S. You blow!

Alceste 3 years ago

hahahahahhahahaa....that's some funny stuff, Kansass......you actually think/believe Robert Siedlecki Jr. is thinking this stuff up?! All of this voodoo economics and social policy is coming right out of Cedar Crest and Brownback's pointed little head. Robert Siedlecki Jr. is a high paid minion....nothing more and most certainly nothing less.

Kansass 3 years ago

Sam can't think, he hires wiener state imports to do that. Backsidelicki needs to be shipped back to his wiener state.

fljayhawk 3 years ago

I live in Florida, he learned his trade from our Governer (sic). Our gain (his moving to Kansas)is your lose. Rock Chalk Jayhawk

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

C'mon fljayhawk. We aren't even in the same Conference. You can't hate us that bad. Or is this payback for shipping mizzou your way?

Lana Christie-Hayes 3 years ago

It just never stops with this asinine Governor and his idiot sidekicks. At least his stupid stuff is so blatant that both Democrat AND Republican Legislators see how backing him on his CRAZY ideas will be totally detrimental to their own futures in politics!! Note to Sam:..you probably should just bury your head in the mud that surrounds you for the remainder of your term. YOU SUCK!!

bklonnie 3 years ago

"They also said it was proposed without any input from experts in the field."

Doesn't that pretty much just sum up everything Siedlecki and Brownback do? This isn't surprising to me, and I'm glad that the legislators are stepping in to stop these clowns.

dipweed 3 years ago

If Sherienne Jones-Sontag is still monitoring Twitter and other sites for negative Brownback comments, I would think her computer would be blowing up by now.

Linda Endicott 3 years ago

Governor haircare...roflao...that was worth getting online this morning...

I wonder if he's related to Donald Trump?

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

You mean "Mr. Toupee"? (You'd think with all of the money he has he would go get hair implants.)

jafs 3 years ago

It is truly mind boggling that somebody with his money looks so bad - it must be some sort of deliberate choice, don't you think?

preebo 3 years ago

http://www.kansas.com/2011/05/01/1830344/consolidation-of-power-a-concern.html

This is from May of this year. Is it any surprise that he is continuing in this vein? He says this is done to reduce bureaucracy, but it does nothing but create a bottleneck for things and even less gets done. Nevermind the loss of institutional brainpower that is lost when you shuffle services or programs around. Much like Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin (whereas his is focused on labor unions), I believe Governor Brownback is attempting his own brand of "Conservative" experiments in Kansas.

How is that road map working for you thus far?

Kate Rogge 3 years ago

Governor Brownback is being staged by the Kochs for the presidency. Thank God being governor of Kansas is just a step along that path and not the goal. Kansas Republicans were willing to give him a shot, but even they don't seem to be wholly enthralled with him. A national electorate will not support theocrat Browback's bid for the presidency.

Jan Rolls 3 years ago

I hope you all saw the make it private in his statement. Another attempt to bring his stupid people in from florida and give them high salaries. I said it before why doesn't sam the sham just privatize everything all at once and be done with it. Low down skunks.

oldbaldguy 3 years ago

all i know is when i started representing kids in the system srs had juvenile offenders, it did not work very well. first years of jja was no fun but it appears to be working now. this has to be a funding issue. the juvenile intake system works well where it is at.

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

"...this has to be a funding issue..." I think you just hit the nail right on the head.

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