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Archive for Thursday, January 2, 2014

State legislator wants review of federal mandates

January 2, 2014

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— A legislator has requested a review to determine what demands are being made by the federal government on the state government of Kansas.

"Given the U.S. Supreme Court decision about Medicaid expansion, it would be wise for us to take a look at other areas where federal money is being used in a coercive way that does not benefit the state's citizens," state Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, said.

While the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act's requirement that most people have health insurance, it also ruled that the expansion of Medicaid was optional for states.

The court said Congress may offer grants to states and require states to comply with certain conditions but it also said the federal government couldn't threaten the loss of other funds to force action. In the case of Medicaid, the court ruled that the ACA unconstitutionally threatened noncompliant states with the loss of all Medicaid funding.

Pilcher-Cook has asked a legislative committee to order an audit of federal programs that put additional obligations on the state.

State Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, and a member of the Legislative Post-Audit Committee, criticized the request.

"It does seem like a fishing expedition," she said.

She said Pilcher-Cook, a longtime critic of the ACA, "wanted to keep the anti-government drumbeat going."

Pilcher-Cook was not at the meeting. Her proposal was presented by a state auditor. In an email, she did not respond to Kelly's comments.

The committee took no action on Pilcher-Cook's request earlier this week because it did not have enough members attending to conduct official business. But it meets again Jan. 15 and could reconsider the request then.

Comments

Richard Heckler 11 months, 2 weeks ago

ALEC is everywhere = Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee is a slave to Sam Brownback,Koch money and the extreme ALEC Right Wing Party.

I am more interested in the Feds performing an audit on the tax dollar spending of this ALEC state government. ALEC people are not above fraudulent use of money if no one holds them accountable so I speculate.

William Weissbeck 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Linking federal highway funds and raising the drinking age. They raised the drinking age even on the state roads. Coercive, yes. Is she opposed? Likely not. In a federal system as ours, you can't pick and choose what laws you want to follow. Lincoln settled that matter. But mark my words - ALEC is working on the plan that they can control a majority of the states (they have the solid Red base in the south), and with it, control federal legislation. This even though they won't represent a majority of Americans. That is why their gerrymander of states like Michigan, Wisc, Ohio and Penn. can be so destructive to the long term.

Fred Mertz 11 months, 2 weeks ago

The federal government used federal dollars to create power for itself that it wouldn't otherwise have. It has no authority to do so certain things so it blackmails the states to force them to set the sped limit, require seat belts be worn, set the drinking limit and on and on.

I think this is wrong The federal governments power is limited by the constitution and it shouldn't use our tax dollars to circumvent those limits.

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