Archive for Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Letter: Petty politics

May 29, 2013

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To the editor:

In an article on May 26, Scott Rothschild opened the door and shined a little light on the petty politics conducted by The “GUV”ernor and departments of the Kansas state government. Shortly after being absorbed by KDOT at Brownback’s directive, the KTA announces it’s cutting part-time employees’ hours so it won’t have to comply with a federal law. This time, however, it’s not a private employer but instead is part of the Kansas state government, KDOT specifically. This administration is using the state government to hurt Kansans. Brownback attacked legislators of his own party who wouldn’t toe his line. Is he now attacking the people of Kansas directly? Congratulations, you’re once again bringing Kansas to the forefront in the race to the bottom. I wonder who’s next.

Why doesn’t the current Kansas administration own this as they have many other failures and admit they’re hurting Kansans all in the name of petty politics? It will be interesting to see what kind of sordid prepared statement his mouthpiece will read because of this latest fiasco.

Comments

Brock Masters 1 year, 11 months ago

The cut in hours is not so they won't have to COMPLY with the law, but instead so they won't be SUBJECT to the law or its taxes.

Subtle, but important distinction. Doesn't change the end result, we should call it as it really is when discussing it.

chootspa 1 year, 11 months ago

We're all subjects to federal and state laws, whether the consequences apply to us in every situation or not. The state chose to send workers home with fewer hours and less take home pay rather than offering those workers health insurance, just like the state chose to be petty and not offer expanded medicare even though it would be fully paid for for the next three years.

This isn't a good state. It doesn't care for the wellbeing of its citizens, and it doesn't spend money wisely. It needs to see a change in leadership.

ChuckFInster 1 year, 11 months ago

Notice how the fact Obamacare was the reason for this decision and was conveniently left out.

jafs 1 year, 11 months ago

The ACA set some guidelines, but KTA had options about how they responded.

Others have posted some nice calculations about how much it would have cost them to provide health insurance to their part-time staff, and how much profit they make, etc.

It could easily have been done - they chose not to do that, but instead to cut hours. Aren't they responsible for their decision?

My guess is that this administration in KS wants to get their hands on the KTA money, and use it for other things - that's why they merged the agencies, and why they'd oppose using some (a small percentage) of their profit to provide health insurance.

Brock Masters 1 year, 11 months ago

The legislature sweeps money into the general fund all the time. It doesn't matter if there is a law specifying how the funds are to be used.

Brock Masters 1 year, 11 months ago

They don't need to change the statute. They can sweep it into the SGF and use it however they wish. They do it all the time with funds that have statutory language that dictates how the funds are to be used.

jafs 1 year, 11 months ago

How is that possible or legal, if true?

bevy 1 year, 11 months ago

Have you read any of the stories about what they did with the tobacco lawsuit money that was, BY STATUTE, supposed to be set aside to fund present and future pre-K education programs? Guess what - they swept it into the GF and used it for other stuff. Who's gonna call them on it?

Brock Masters 1 year, 11 months ago

bevy you are right. They steal from children so what's stealing from a highway to them.

They do it all the time.

jafs 1 year, 11 months ago

Well, any number of people have sued the state - recently they've been sued about education a couple of times.

They could be sued about the tobacco money as well.

If the legislature doesn't even follow their own laws, that's absurd.

Brock Masters 1 year, 11 months ago

jafs why do yo keep saying if? There is no if, it is fact and it happens every legislative session under every administration.

No, they can't be sued, it is against statute but it is legal to sweep the funds.

A group just sued the AG to get info about the tobacco settlement. Don't you think they'd sue to keep the funds if they could. An article today just reported that 140 million have been swept from the fund...nearly 10 million is scheduled to be swept this year.

Research it if you don't believe me.

jafs 1 year, 11 months ago

Doesn't "against statute" mean illegal?

I don't understand any other way that term could be used.

Statutes are laws, aren't they?

Brock Masters 1 year, 11 months ago

Yes, you're right, but apparently laws don't apply to the legislature.

tomatogrower 1 year, 11 months ago

The state is using the same tactics that many businesses have been using for several years now, long before ACA. Why else would they have so many part time employees anyway? It's just cheaper for them to hire part-timers, paying them less and not providing any benefits. And besides the ACA doesn't require employers to pay for the insurance, but if they offer it to one employee, they need to offer it to anyone with 30 or more hours. It just allows the employee to join a group insurance plan with their lower rates, rather than pay the higher rates of a private plan. An employee can even turn down the companies insurance.

Most companies could afford to pay a small portion of an employee's insurance. Very few companies who offer insurance to their employees pay the entire premium anyway. When the company doesn't offer insurance, the employee then relies on the government and charities to take care of them, thus the penalty, to help pay for the care of the people that many employers could care less for, even though they need these people for their business. We are tired of subsidizing your employees. WalMart is one of the worst companies about letting the government take care of their employees. And we consider them a free market success story? Bah!!

http://101.communitycatalyst.org/aca_provisions/employer_requirements Employer Requirements in the Affordable Care Act What are the employer requirements?

"The Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not require employers to offer insurance coverage to their employees, but it imposes a penalty on businesses that fail to insure their employees in certain circumstances. Small employers with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from any penalties. Beginning January 1, 2014, large employers can be assessed a free rider penalty if their workers receive premium subsidies through the Exchanges.

In addition, an employer with more than 200 employees who offers at least one health plan must automatically enroll employees into one of the plans offered, though employees may opt out. This approach to enrolling in employer-sponsored coverage is expected to increase employee participation."

rtwngr 1 year, 11 months ago

Slow down tomatogrower. Conservatives don't hate anybody. What conservatives hate is any political party handing out freebies in order to expand its base because it is done at the expense of all taxpayers. Nobody hates people on welfare. Conservatives believe that the welfare rolls are bloated with people that could work and should work but it is easier for them not to because they are subsidized by the government. There are people that cannot work for any number of good reasons. These people should not be discarded and nobody is proposing anything like that. There are families out there that cannot provide enough food for their families and nobody is trying to kick them off of the WIC program. There are ways to set up clinics that would be privately run with both government and private funding, that could provide that basic medical care that so many have to do without. That does not mean we should scrap the entire free market system we have now for a larger, bureaucratic mess that will dictate our medical coverage from Washington D.C. That is what the ACA does. You cry about a living wage. What exactly is that? Where do we draw the benchmark? If $10 per hour is good then $25 per hour must be great. What about $50 per hour? Then to cap off your rant, you accuse conservatives of wanting to reinstitute slavery. Please. You and I both know, this is an intellectually dishonest argument. Whatever happened to starting at the bottom and working your way up? It can still be done. "The problem with Socialism is you eventually run out of the other person's money."

jafs 1 year, 11 months ago

I have to commend you on a nice portrayal of the "conservative" view.

The ACA doesn't "scrap" the free market system, though, it is delivered through it, with certain regulations.

And, your slippery slope argument about living wages isn't convincing - there's no reason to inflate from $10/hr to $50/hr, if the idea is to pay people what they need to live on.

Liberty275 1 year, 11 months ago

"if the idea is to pay people what they need to live on."

Jack up the minimum wage and we'll see more living on $0/hr.

jafs 1 year, 11 months ago

There was a post that was removed, that rtwnger was responding to.

bearded_gnome 1 year, 11 months ago

yo Ralph! you conveniently forgot to mention the oppression of Obamacare and the natural response to it. the state's response is just one of thousands like it across the country. entirely predictable.

please focus your wrath where it belongs, on the short sighted democrat politicians who shoved this monstrocity down our throats by way of corruption, threats, and lies.

now it's own architects call it a "train wreck."

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