Topeka At least three protest rallies will be held this week at the Statehouse related to controversial issues before the Legislature, which returns to session Wednesday.
Advocates for Kansans with developmental disabilities will rally at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, demanding that Gov. Sam Brownback exclude long-term care services for those with developmental disabilities from his proposal to privatize Medicaid. Organizers said they expect more than 1,000 people at the “Don’t Gamble with Our Lives!” rally.
Brownback has asserted that the change will improve services and lower costs, but those delivering those services dispute that.
“The Administration continues to tout the financial savings they foresee but fails to articulate how those savings will be achieved without reducing services,” said Tom Laing, executive director of InterHab, a statewide association of developmental disability service providers.
Individuals through Facebook are organizing a protest at 11:30 a.m. Thursday against legislation called the Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act.
Several groups have said the proposal would allow Kansans to cite religious beliefs to discriminate against gays, and trump a Lawrence ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. The proposal has been approved by the House and is now before the Senate.
On Saturday, there will be a “We Are Women” march as part of a national protest in what organizers are calling a “war on women.” The march will start at 11 a.m. at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historical Site and end up at the Capitol. Sponsors for this event include the Kansas chapter of the National Organization for Women, Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Western Missouri, The Group, Kansans United in Voice & Spirit, Great Plains Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church & State, MoveOn.org, League of Women Voters of Kansas, Mainstream Coalition and Occupy Wichita.