Written by Rep. Bob Brookens Tuesday, 18 January 2011 16:01Gov. Brownback gave his State of the State address Wednesday evening, and on Thursday he unveiled his budget plan for the rest of the 2011 fiscal year (ending June 30) and for fiscal year 2012.
I haven’t yet read the 400-page budget proposal; I have read the overview, however. Much of the budget will have no apparent effect on us, but some parts will have direct and immediate impact on the folks of this district.
I appreciate the governor leading with his own ideas, not simply placing budget decisions in the Legislature’s lap. Time will tell what we think of those ideas, but they do give us a starting point.
For one, it appears Gov. Brownback intends to fund Medicaid at current levels while he and his secretary of Social and...
Written by Rep. Bob Brookens Tuesday, 11 January 2011 17:15Well, it’s off to Topeka for the beginning of the 2011 legislative session.
As I write this column on Saturday, Jan. 8, I find myself in Topeka thinking of the upcoming events: tonight’s banquet and dance celebrating the beginning of Sam Brownback’s first term as governor; Monday morning, we can witness his inauguration.
At 2 p.m., I will be sworn in along with the other representatives to serve in the House of Representatives for the 2011-12 term. We are all called on to swear or affirm to uphold the constitutions of the United States and the state of Kansas. This is something we should all take very seriously. The oath is not a matter of convenience, nor is it a pledge to uphold the constitution as we wish it would be. We are...
Written by Bob Brookens Tuesday, 08 June 2010 17:38The legislative session has ended and we will not reconvene until January 2011, barring a problem requiring a special session. We will likely have a few summer committees exploring topics that have surfaced during the session.
This will be my last column, so long as nothing of import happens before January.
Throughout the session, I have tried to keep you informed about the most pressing matters facing the legislature, and you have responded by giving me your opinions, through the survey as well as your calls, letters, and e-mails. Thanks.
Thank-you also for listening as I have tried to explain things the way they are, not the way you or I would simply want them to be. Your desire and willingness to take in new information, to...
Written by Bob Brookens Tuesday, 01 June 2010 20:09Editor’s note: We inadvertently reprinted Rep. Bob Brookens’ column last week. This is the column he intended to appear in our May 26 issue. We regret our error.
The 2010 Kansas Legislative session is about to come to an end. Sine Die (official final day of the session) will be Friday, and we don’t expect fireworks.
I thought you might want to know that before January 2010, the legislature and governor had between them cut more than $1 billion—yes, billion—from state spending. Since then, we have trimmed about $200 million more from spending in the upcoming budget.
OK, it doesn’t trim, it whacks off another $200 million. That’s about $1.2 billion in cuts before we addressed the issue of a tax increase.
Written by Bob Brookens Tuesday, 25 May 2010 19:18The legislative session is over, having ended at about 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 11. It’s the first session in years, I’m told, to end in daylight.
As you might know by now, we passed a balanced but fragile budget—and increased the sales tax by one cent, which sunsets in three years, at which time 0.4 of that cent will stay for road funding.
You had said through the survey that if a tax had to go up, you would prefer it be the sale tax rather than property tax, so that’s what I advocated for. I also pushed hard for a cigarette and beer tax increase as a way to reduce the sales tax increase.
I even advocated with senators whom I know. The Senate first tried a cigarette-tax proposal, but couldn’t muster the votes to pass it.
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