Sunday, March 30, 2014


Census Finds Kansas Losing Residents Under Brownback 
Migrating Kansans Means Another Broken Promise For Brownback Administration

Governor Sam Brownback is a man of many promises. He's made promises on jobs, schools, higher education, personal income, Kansas kids reading schools, and even population. From day one, Brownback lamented population trends in rural Kansas and vowed to fix the issue.
According to Gov. Brownback, Kansans fled the state under former Governors Graves, Sebelius, and Parkinson, seeking lower taxes and less economic interference. Brownback's solution: the same solution he always proposes - income tax breaks that drastically favor the super rich and big business.
Brownback sold his tax plan as a salve for jobs, economic growth, and population, claiming that his tax plan would bring over 35,000 new residents to Kansas in addition to the natural population growth that was predicted to occur.
It's been two years since Brownback made this bold projection and over a year since his radical tax plan went into effect. Surely, tax-sensitive individuals from neighboring states like Missouri have started streaming over the border thanks to Brownback's tax plan.
Or not. Turns out Brownback's bold claim was nothing more than another broken promise. Yesterday, the Census Bureau released new population numbers for Kansas that showed not only has Kansas not gained 35,000 new residents, it's actually lost over 10,000 residents to other states since 2010.
But why would any right thinking Kansan leave the state under Brownback's leadership? Maybe because income tax policy plays little role in people's decisions to relocate while things like jobs, schools, family, and climate matter far more. The exact things Brownback has undercut while governor (well, except for climate though the Kansas Senate is doing its best to change that).
Contrary to his shiny new campaign ads, education clearly is not a priority under Brownback. While other states have made investments in education after recovering from the Great Recession, Brownback and his far-right Kansas Legislature have continued cutting funding to K-12 and higher education.
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Kansas is also one of only a handful of states to cut higher education funding during the recovery, joining West Virginia, Louisiana, Wyoming and Wisconsin as one of the five states to cut higher education funding this fiscal year.

And while other states restored deep cuts to K-12 funding following the Great Recession, Gov. Brownback instead chose to pass the biggest tax cut in Kansas history, putting millionaires before Kansas kindergarteners. Not that it's helped at all. You can see the trajectory of education funding under Brownback in the accompanying graph - down, down, and down.
For decades Kansas has prided itself on strong schools and reasonable government. A common refrain heard across Kansas is that while we don't have mountains or beaches, we do have great public schools. Increasingly, the actions of Brownback and his fellow anti-education elected officials has damaged our reputation, both for common sense government and strong schools.
In the end, we don't think it matters that much if Kansas doesn't have beaches or mountains. We've prospered without these geographic features. No the key to restoring Kansas is guaranteeing that Kansas doesn't have something else: Sam Brownback as our governor.


Concerned Kansans March On Capitol To Support School Funding
While Brownback Avoids Doing His Job, Game On For Kansas Schools Acts
It has been three weeks since the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Brownback and his Kansas Legislature had failed to constitutionally fund our Kansas schools.
During that time, far-right legislators have proposed four separate education reform plans, all of which manage to cut overall spending to schools and tie equity fixes to controversial, unpopular school "reform" proposals. Some legislators have gone so far to complain about how fixing the school funding mess they made will be a real chore because Republicans just don't want to spend money on education.
And Gov. Brownback? He's been missing in action from day one, trying to avoid responsibility and political fallout. No plan, no leadership, and no accountability.

Game On for Kansas Schools This neglect might explain why Game On for Kansas Schools, a nonpartisan grassroots organization who advocates for Kansas schools, is marching on Topeka to raise awareness about school funding cuts and far-right school privatization efforts. Staring this morning, Game On members are walking the 60 miles from Merriam to the capitol building.
Last year, Game On member Heather Ousley made the sixty mile walk by herself. This year, she's joined by five other members who share her goal of preserving Kansas public schools. "We are walking for every kid in Kansas," Ousley said. "We will not sit idly by in the face of funding cuts and so called reforms."
Other similarly concerned Kansans are invited to join the Game On members to walk The Final Mile on Monday, March 31st. The marchers will be leaving from the Supreme Court building at 1:30 and walking to the capitol building. You can also follow their progress on their Twitter and Facebook pages. 

In Other News

Poverty takes its toll on Kansas schools

Medicare big issue in Kansas health care debate

Rep disappointed in changes to stillborn bill

New voting laws adding to confusion, Douglas County election official says

County clerk says decision good for his office, but not good news for voters

Davis: Separate school funding from policy changes

Tough decisions may await district - budgeting process begins with state funding still uncertain

Tensions remain between Kansas Legislature, KU

House passes bill to separate Kansas from Affordable Care Act

Koch-funded groups fuel assault on Kansas clean energy law

Governor pleased with Kansas school bill progress

Gov. Sam Brownback signs Kansas bill to limit political-party switching

Funding for all-day kindergarten in Kansas looks dead

Kansas School finance bill cuts $15 million in transportation aid
Legislature moves closer to selling state-owned buildings

Kansas Governor decries prairie chicken decision
Kansas Senate gives approval to to bill ending renewable energy standards

Chairman: All school finance options still in play

Chair of Kansas House panel disputes amount needed to fix school funding

Kansas Senate passes bill barring Medicaid expansion

Legislature passes Taylor’s grand jury bill

Floor amendment spurs heated immigration debate

Huelskamp campaign acknowledges raffle miscue

Huelskamp response: Douglas County DA acted appropriately in inquiry into email NCAA ticket contest

Senate advances bill to prevent votes on gambling in Sedgwick County until 2032

ALEC and the bill mills

Legislators are acting like the ‘feds’

Fee fix - Special-interest group deal unfair to Kansas communities

Forty-nine states can - why can’t Kansas?

Health care compact bill a mistake

Bill bust

Messing in the kitchen

Kansas legislature simply cannot stop being awful, abortion edition

New voting bill hindering elections

Blind to truth

Farms first – Policymakers should pursue ways to help family farms

Inconsistent actions

Eagle editorial: Medicaid expansion helps mentally ill

Editorial: Slots bill anti-democratic

Switching parties

Kobach-affiliated bill is bad for Kansans’ voting rights

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