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Archive for Monday, March 4, 2013

Capitol Report: School finance; Democratic gubernatorial candidate; why Francisco voted for drug testing

March 4, 2013

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School finance amendment in detention

Last month, a proposed constitutional amendment that would remove the courts from school finance decisions limped out of the Senate with the bare minimum two-thirds majority.

The House hasn't taken it up yet.

House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, said, "We're still working on that. It's in the queue."

A constitutional amendment in the 125-member House would require 84 votes to win approval. So far, Democrats, who oppose the measure, think there are enough votes to block it.

If approved, it would then go before the voters.

Democrat will emerge to challenge Brownback

Democratic leaders in the Legislature say names of possible Democratic challengers to Gov. Sam Brownback won't start surfacing until after the legislative session, which ends in May.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka and House Minority Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence say they believe a recent poll that shows Brownback has a low approval rating.

"There is a lot of concern about the direction that the governor is taking the state," Davis said.

Hensley said in his recent re-election campaign in November he did polling about how people in his district felt about Brownback. Hensley said Brownback's approval rating, especially among women, was significantly low.

The election isn't until November 2014, but a Democratic challenger would have to start raising money soon.

The Public Policy Polling survey in Kansas found 52 percent of Kansans disapprove of Brownback's performance, while 37 percent approve. Still, Brownback polled better when matched against six different Democrats.

Explanation of vote on drug testing

State Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, was the only Democrat to vote for a bill that would require drug testing of those receiving welfare or unemployment benefits if the person is suspected of using illegal drugs.

Francisco said she voted for Senate Bill 149 because the Kansas Department for Children and Families was already conducting drug tests on some recipients, and the proposed bill would put into statute the specific procedures. She also said the legislation emphasizes that the purpose of the drug testing is to provide drug treatment, and that welfare benefits will continue to flow to the children of an adult who tests positive for drug use.

On the same bill, state Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, voted present, but passing.

Holland said he felt he could not vote against the bill because he had supported an earlier amendment to the legislation that applies the drug testing rules to legislators. But he said he couldn't support the overall bill on drug testing, calling it an "overreach."

Quote of the week:

"How ironic that we have a bill with freedom in the name that is one more mandate on local government." State Rep. Don Hineman, R-Dighton, on House Bill 2280, requiring schools teach about U.S. history and founding documents during "Celebrate Freedom Week," starting Sept. 17.

What's Next:

Monday

10 a.m. — Governor's Task Force on Reducing Childhood Poverty, Board of Regents Conference Room in the Curtis State Office Building.

Tuesday

6:30 p.m. — State Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, will discuss Gov. Sam Brownback's income tax plan, at the Emporia Public Library, 110 E. Sixth St., Emporia.

Wednesday

9 a.m. — Hearing on House Bill 2055, expansion of concealed carry to guns, before House Federal and State Affairs, room 346-South.

1:30 p.m. — Hearing on Sub House Bill 2027, contract negotiations for teachers, before House Commerce, Labor and Economic Development Committee, room 346-South.

1:30 p.m. — Marriage and family presentation before Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, room 118-North.

Thursday

8:30 a.m. — Perspective on Kansas economy and dynamic budget scoring by Art Hall, before Senate Commerce Committee, room 548-South.

8:30 a.m. — Hearing on Senate Bill 191, repealing certain agriculture corporation statutes, before Senate Natural Resources, room 159-South.

9 a.m. — Hearing on House Bill 2253, abortion restrictions, before House Federal and State Affairs, room 346-South.

1:30 p.m. — Hearing on Senate Bill 196, creating the Kansas public charter school act, before Senate Education Committee, room 144-South.

Friday

9 a.m. — Hearing on House Bill 2054, restrictions on adult entertainment, before House Federal and State Affairs, room 346-South.

Comments

Meatwad 1 year, 1 month ago

I agree with and support Marci's vote on this issue, and I'm a Marci supporter already.

1

rockchalk1977 1 year, 1 month ago

At first glance I thought it read... Democratic gubernatorial candidate fiasco. Then, after reading the predictable unfair and biased piece, I realized I was correct. Beam me up Scotty.

2

tomatogrower 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm not totally against this bill, since they can only be tested if there is a suspicion. They aren't going to test every single person on welfare, which Florida did, and spent a whole lot of money.

0

Richard Heckler 1 year, 1 month ago

The party of big government while boasting to be for less government just put more big government in the lives of many.

Oh yes about the other big government and since some have inquired.

Petition 20% Pay Cut for Congress - NO Golden Parachutes for Mismanagement http://pac.signon.org/sign/paycuts%2Dfor%2Dcongress%2D1?source=mo&id=63631-1285051-xxUGFvx

The 32 Dumbest And Most Devastating Sequester Cuts http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/03/02/1662271/the-dumbest-and-most-devastating-sequester-cuts/

0

hipper_than_hip 1 year, 1 month ago

What would be the difference between an employment contract where random testing is mandatory, and a contract with a benefit recipient that makes random testing mandatory?

0

Keith Richards 1 year, 1 month ago

If you read the 11th circuit court decision that upheld the temporary ban on Florida drug testing of welfare recipients, they are obviously firmly against suspicion-less drug testing of all recipients. However, they did seem to open the door to drug testing of those with a history of drug abuse, or when suspicions arise of current drug use.

0

Keith Richards 1 year, 1 month ago

Can someone tell me what is wrong with expecting welfare recipients to not test positive for illegal drugs?

0

jimmyjms 1 year, 1 month ago

I'd like to know why Marci voted for SB 142, a truly vile and insane piece of legislation ("Wrongful Birth.").

2

Cait McKnelly 1 year, 1 month ago

Why is the LJ World ignoring National politics with the exception of opinion pieces? The Sequester went into effect last Friday and Washington is on fire over it. It's the biggest piece of political news to come out of DC since the Iraq War over a decade ago and there isn't a peep about it. In fact, the ONLY article about the Sequester was a piece on how it was going to cost KU millions in research funds and that was before it took effect. Does anyone have any idea how that is going to effect Lawrence itself and the economy of the town? Do they care?
I don't expect Pulitzer Prize level in depth analysis. But there IS a whole country out there outside of this town. And what happens in the capitol of the country of that town effects it. I understand that the owner of this paper hates the current president and would prefer to just ignore him. But that doesn't mean there isn't still some journalistic responsibility to actually report the news.

0

msezdsit 1 year, 1 month ago

State Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence: Very very very very lame, Marci. If you weren't surrounded by an ocean of nut cases you would not keep getting re elected. Believe me, when I voted for you I was voting against your opponent.

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 1 month ago

Marci merely recognizes the quixotic nature of being a sane person serving with a bunch of extremely ideological partisans, and does the best she can to limit the damage then can inflict on the state of Kansas.

4

Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 1 month ago

Marci is voting more red all the time. Seems like she is starting to get it. Now we have to get Davis to start thinking about working people.

3

chootspa 1 year, 1 month ago

Thanks for asking why they voted the way they did, Scott!

1

mikekt 1 year, 1 month ago

Celebrate freedom week ?

Are we going to have to rehash unpleasant, unpopular historic subjects, such as SLAVERY..... AND THE SLAVES WHO WERE KIDNAPPED FROM AFRICA TO SERVE THEIR AMERICAN OWNERS WHO LEAD OUR REVOLUTION TO GAIN FREEDOM FOR THEMSELVES, FROM OTHER TYRANTS, ELSEWHERE, WHAT WE DID TO THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS, HOW OUR COUNTRY WENT FROM THE ORIGINAL 13 COLONIES, TO BEING 50 STATES OF BIG GOVERNMENT, THAT STILL HAS ANOTHER 12 OFFSHORE COLONIES OF OUR OWN ( Oh, .....i'm sorry,.... we call those offshore colonies....... territories....... don't we ?

Why it just makes me well up with pride and makes me want to _in my pants,...... just thinking about it all !

But I'm not sure that I trust the schools to tell the truth about "Merican History",........so maybe some patriotic....( or is it idiotic ) state representatives, might have to write some prepared indoctrinational speeches, on how this country came to be.......the "Topeka Sanitized Way", for the teachers to deliver in class ........and so what if that all sounds like something that would go on in Communist Russia, China or Cuba ? That is like something that the Commies, as well as the nuts in Topeka, would do !!!!!

3

Bob Forer 1 year, 1 month ago

What in the heck has Marci accomplished her many years in office?

2

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