Category: Capitol Ideas

Goal has been to stir thinking

I have enjoyed keeping you informed during this legislative session. I hope you found the column to be helpful. It has not been my goal to win you over?although that would be fine?but that you think about these matters, no matter which side you land on. I hope you will ponder the issues. There will be many 30-second TV spots […]

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Wrap-up ends with passing a budget

We finished the wrap-up session at about 3 a.m. Saturday. We passed out a budget (spending plan) that balances on paper, with no tax increases required. We Republicans in the House of Representatives had difficulty agreeing on a budget plan of our own, and I proposed a compromise that appeared to gain momentum on Thursday?the last realistic day available to […]

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Balancing the state budget solely by cutting expenses sounds good until…

We just finished what was to have been the one and only week of the wrap-up session. I predict we?ll wind it up, perhaps in the wee hours of Mother?s Day Sunday; I hope not that late. We have no budget reconciliation bill, and we need one. The revenue estimates are low?way low. Last week Gov. Sebelius was appointed U.S. […]

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New restrictions on young drivers will save lives, other states show

Next week, the legislature will reconvene for the wrap-up session?also referred to as the omnibus session or veto session. The one looming aspect for wrapping up?and revamping?will be the budget. In my first columns, I talked a lot about the budget, and it is still the biggest issue of the day. The consensus revenue reports came in last Friday, and […]

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New restrictions on young drivers will save lives, other states show

You may recall I have mentioned the many and frequent statistics and other information we receive in legislative committee hearings, making it difficult to comprehend them all. For instance, it was surprising to learn that more than 7,000 people are injured or killed every year on Kansas roads because of crashes involving a teen driver. We had the opportunity to […]

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Regular session ends with action on energy, seat belts, abortion, smoking

Last Friday ended the regular session, and we?ll take a three-week break while the state printer prints all those bills we passed.

Once the legislative leaders sign them, the bills are sent to the governor to consider and either veto them or permit them to become law.

You may not hear much from me in the next three weeks, depending on what there is to report.

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This past week was a productive one for ?making sausage? in Topeka

This week was short so conference committees could meet, but we still passed more legislation and made more sausage than in the rest of the session put together. We passed the ?mega? budget and a capital improvements budget. The subject of a smoke-free Kansas came up, but did not come to a final vote. The most excitement surrounded a ?transparency? […]

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Education will take a ?brutal? hit in 2010

In the afternoon of March 16, my father died and I was called away from the House of Represent?atives for the balance of the week. I came back Monday morning (March 23) to a full day of work?ing on the 2010 fiscal budget. What I have heard is: It?s going to be brutal. I am aware there are planned cuts?there […]

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Smoking ban, 2010 budget emerge as topics on the horizon

This week?s column will highlight a couple of the subjects coming up in the remainder of the session. n Smoking. Proponents and opponents of a bill that would ban smoking in most of the state?s workplaces and public places faced a barrage of questions from the House Health and Human Services Committee last week in hearings on Senate Bill 25. […]

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Prop K will hurt small-town homeowners

I appreciated the opportunities these past two weekends to discuss legislative matters in Marion County, and I look forward to the March 21 meeting in Chase County at the Farm Bureau office. Thank you also for your feedback on this column. Let your paper know you read it, too. Now for the topic that shows up this year on television: […]

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