Daily Archives: March 3, 2009

Pithy politcal commentary from the Statehouse, in verse

Last year, Rep. Bill Otto, R-LeRoy, critiqued Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ stance on the Holcomb power plant expansion to the tune of “Home on the Range.

The troubadour lawmaker is back, this time commenting on the Democratic governor’s nomination as Health and Human Services secretary. If confirmed, the governor will be trading her offices on the Capitol’s second floor for digs in D.C.

Otto’s political prose is set to Kenny Rogers’ “Lucille.”

Watch the video below:

Parkinson ready to lead Kansas, but won’t run in 2010

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TOPEKA – The state’s future governor, Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson, acknowledged Tuesday that most Kansans did not know who he is but added “I want them to be assured that I’m ready to serve when that time comes.”

Parkinson, a Democrat, was elected to the office with Gov. Kathleen Sebelius in 2005 and is poised to finish out her term. Monday, President Barack Obama announced Sebelius as his pick for Health and Human Services secretary.

Parkinson said he did not know what timeline the nomination process would follow. “It’s entirely possible that the governor could remain as governor until the end of the session,” he said.

He also reiterated a prior statement that he would not run for governor in 2010 and said there have been no formal discussions with anyone about who would succeed him as the lieutenant governor.

Because Sebelius had been consider as both a vice presidential candidate and a potential cabinet pick in the fall, Parkinson said he had worked closely with the budget office as it crafted this year’s proposal.

“The priorities that the governor has are my priorities,” he said adding that he thought the transition would be “seamless.”

Back-to-school sales tax holiday proposed

TOPEKA – Shoppers’ wallets could get a break in time for back to school shopping under a sales tax holiday proposal that a House committee is discussing today.

House Bill 2328 would exempt items sold between the first Thursday in August until midnight the following Sunday. The hearing is in the House Taxation Committee.

The exemption would apply to:

  • Clothing and accessories worth $300 or less;

  • Equipment with a taxable value of $300 or less;

  • School, art and instructional supplies totaling $100 or less per purchase.

  • Computer software with taxable value of $300 or less;

  • Computers or school computer supplies up to $2,000.

The state Budget Division estimates the holiday could decrease state money $5.7 million in the next budget year, which begins July 1.

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia had sales tax holidays in 2008, according the Federation of Tax Administrators. Kansas neighbors Missouri, Oklahoma and Iowa were among those offering a temporary sales tax reprieve.