Bill would keep long-term care out of KanCare plan
Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposal to privatize Medicaid would put long-term care of those with developmental disabilities into the new plan.
But advocates for those with developmental disabilities say this is a bad idea because while the general Medicaid group requires medical attention a few times a year, those with severe developmental disabilities require more frequent, nonmedical help for day-to-day living.
State Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, has introduced House Bill 2457 that would “carve out” of Brownback’s proposed KanCare program the management of long-term care, nonmedical services.
“The Brownback Administration appears to be on the fast track to the privatization of Medicaid,” Ward said. “Regardless of what happens with the governor’s plan, it is important that any reform efforts are deliberate and implemented safely. We must ensure that critical services for our most vulnerable citizens are not jeopardized.”
Quotes of the week
“You just got paid $75,000 for one consulting job. I don’t think you understand.”
— Kansas NOW coordinator Kari Ann Rinker, talking to Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax plan consultant Arthur Laffer after Laffer had said he understood the plight of single parents.
“We talk about economic development, but the bottom line is we are saving lives.”
— Dr. Val Stella, distinguished professor of pharmaceutical chemistry, briefing the Senate Commerce Committee on work of Kansas University School of Pharmacy.
Davis doesn’t think O’Neal should resign
House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said he doesn’t believe House Speaker Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson, should resign from office over forwarding controversial emails.
Davis, who has had his run-ins with O’Neal over the past several years, said O’Neal has acknowledged his mistake.
O’Neal has been under fire for forwarding an email that referred to President Barack Obama and a Bible verse that some say was threatening to the president and an email that called first lady Michelle Obama “Mrs. YoMama.” O’Neal initially defended the emails, saying they were just jokes but has since apologized.
“This is a lesson for all legislators to be very mindful what they are forwarding on email,” Davis said.
But an online group called Faithful America is continuing to try to unseat O’Neal. It collected more than 30,000 petition signatures calling for him to resign and is now lobbying Gov. Sam Brownback to pressure O’Neal to step down. And there are some legislators who say O’Neal should receive a sanction for his actions.
Fee proposed for electric, hybrid vehicles
“An electricity highway fee” would be assessed when a plug-in electric or hybrid vehicle is recharged, under a bill by state Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence.
Under House Bill 2455, the amount of the fee would be determined by Kansas Department of Transportation and “shall be comparable to the motor fuel tax.” The Kansas gasoline tax is currently 24 cents per gallon.
The electricity highway fee would go to the fund that maintains streets and highways.
“I believe that such vehicles should pay the equivalent of the motor fuels tax so that they do not “ride free” when gasoline/diesel vehicles pay to maintain the system,” Sloan said.
A hearing on the measure will be 9 a.m. Tuesday before House Energy and Utilities Committee.
- 9 a.m. today — Secretary of State Kris Kobach update on voter ID law before House Elections, Room 546-South.
- Noon today — Senate redistricting committee, Room 159-South
- 3:30 p.m. today — Kansas Board of Regents President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Tompkins presentation before House Vision 2020, Room 144-South.
- 9 a.m. Tuesday — Actuarial review of KPERS Study Commission recommendation, Room 142-South.
- Noon Tuesday — Rally by Kannabis Project in front of Docking Building before 1:30 p.m. informational hearing on medical marijuana before House Health and Human Services, Room 784 Docking.
- 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday — Hearings on HB 2421, Kansas firearms freedom act, and HB 2422, Personal and family protection act, before House Federal and State Affairs, Room 346-South.
- 9 a.m. Wednesday — Kansas University Hospital Authority and cancer research update before House Appropriations, room 346-South.
- 9 a.m. Wednesday — Gov. Sam Brownback’s Policy Director Landon Fulmer update on governor’s proposed education plan before House Education, Room 784 Docking.
- Noon Wednesday and Thursday — Overview of Kansas Bioscience Authority audit before House and Senate commerce committees, 346-South.