Brownback, Branstad backing tax credit
Gov. Sam Brownback and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, both Republicans, are urging key members of Congress to extend the wind energy production tax credit.
“The wind energy sector is an American success story that is helping us build our manufacturing base, create jobs, lower energy costs, and strengthen our energy security,” the governors said in a letter to 20 members of the House-Senate panel that is negotiating the payroll tax extension.
Brownback and Branstad said wind development will grind to a halt without extension of the credit.
Quote of the week
“That just doesn’t meet my test of rationality.”
— State Sen. Tim Owens, R-Overland Park, on a proposed congressional redistricting map that puts Wyandotte County in the 1st U.S. House district.
Congressional redistricting on tap
The state Senate will vote this week on a new, bipartisan congressional redistricting plan that has won the ire of the Kansas Republican Party and Kansas Chamber of Commerce.
The state GOP said the plan, which puts all of Lawrence in the 2nd U.S. House District, will hurt the re-election changes of U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka.
The proposal would reduce the percentage of registered Republicans in the 2nd from 42 percent to 40 percent and increase Democrats and unaffiliated voters from roughly 29 percent each to 30 percent each.
But Senate Majority Leader Jay Scott Emler, R-Lindsborg, said the criticism was off base given the small change in voter registration percentages.
“I have a lot more confidence in Lynn Jenkins than that,” Emler said.
He said the GOP statement that the proposal would lead to a Democratic victory in the 2nd “is really very insulting to her (Jenkins),” he said.
Angst growing over Medicaid changes
The decision by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, the largest insurer in the state, to not bid on the proposed Medicaid managed care contracts, has added to the concerns of some legislators over the privatization plan.
Several legislators have said there needs to be legislative oversight of Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan to hand over to private companies management of health care of 350,000 Kansans under Medicaid.
- 9 a.m. today — Hearing on House Bill 2437 requiring proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote, before House Elections Committee, room 546-South, Capitol.
- 1:30 p.m. today, Tuesday and Wednesday — Hearing on Gov. Sam Brownback’s school finance plan, before Senate Education, room 152-South.
- 3:30 p.m. Tuesday — Briefing by Jonathan Williams, director of tax and fiscal policy task force for the American Legislative Exchange Council before House Taxation Committee, room 783.
- 9 a.m. Wednesday — Hearing on House Bill 2224, requiring candidates for state and federal offices to provide proof of citizenship, before House Elections, room 546-South, Capitol.
- Docking Building.
- 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and possibly Friday — Hearings on Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax overhaul before House Taxation Committee, room 783 Docking Building.
- 1:30 p.m. Thursday — Hearing on Democratic school finance plan, before Senate Education Committee, room 152-South.