Written by Bob Brookens Tuesday, 09 March 2010 20:02These past two weeks brought Superintendent John Fast, of Goessel, to Topeka to testify before the Education Committee on the subject of small schools, large schools and consolidation.
His testimony was not only well-received, but I believe it helped other legislators understand the commitment to quality education we find in the 70th District.
HB 2407 advocated we restrict funding to schools with less than 400 students, unless they have more than 200 square miles in the district. The issue is one of community pitted against economy of size.
Recalling my education in a high school of about 120 students, I understand firsthand the challenges of small schools, and I am not ready to watch our smaller communities empty.
Written by Bob Brookens Tuesday, 02 March 2010 19:49Last weekend’s legislative coffees were well attended, and both Sen. Jim Barnett and I were grateful for the opportunity to meet and discuss the issues of greatest concern to you. Thanks for taking part in our government process.
We now have the unofficial figures for the state’s revenue in February, and it is again below the estimate predicted by Legislative Research. This time we are about $70 million below the estimate, putting our 2010 fiscal budget—the budget that ends June 30—about $100 million low.
Besides that, we will start the 2011 budget year July 1 $370 million in the hole, so we are likely to spend much of the remainder of the session grappling with these matters.
Gov. Parkinson has announced he will analyze...
Written by Bob Brookens Tuesday, 23 February 2010 19:54By now you should have received my survey. There was a glitch in sending them out to eastern and southern Marion County, as well as Chase County, which delayed many of them to Tuesday (yesterday).
I have received many surveys back from you and I look forward to more; I spent a good chunk of my weekend tallying the responses.
Thank you to those who have already returned them. Even though I’ve not tallied all the responses, I am already getting a better feel of your thoughts on the subjects on the survey.
Last week was turnaround week in Topeka. The House sends all bills it has passed to the Senate to consider, and the Senate sends its bills to us for our consideration.
In a recent column, I described the “BRAC” bill relating to...
Written by Bob Brookens Tuesday, 16 February 2010 20:04This past week the House passed a relatively short bill, but it’s one that will impact you if the Senate passes it and the governor signs it into law.
The bill will permit the secretary of revenue to send you a postcard telling you when your driver’s license is up for renewal, rather than the current envelope. Hold on, you’re thinking: How will I get the test I must take? Well, there won’t be any testing if you have a clean driving record. Simply go to the driver’s license office and renew. Period. That’s all.
The process is easier than ever. I do think the department has done a good job in the past of using the test to educate the public on law changes that we otherwise might not be aware of, but at this point, we have...
Written by Bob Brookens Tuesday, 09 February 2010 20:06By Feb. 20, you should receive a survey from me. I hope you will fill it out and send it in as soon as you can. I look forward to finding out where the folks of District 70 are before I am called on to vote on various matters before us this session.
Even if you and I have corresponded about an issue, please fill out the whole survey. It will make tallying constituents’ thoughts more accurate.
It is possible you won’t receive the survey because of an incorrect address on our part. We are using the best constituent list we can compile, yet it is not likely to be complete.
If you don’t get a survey by Feb 20, please stop by the office of the Chase County Leader-News, Hillsboro Free Press, Hillsboro Star-Journal, Marion County...
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