Daily Archives: May 4, 2009

From stimulus to bicyclist

bicycle-shadowYou don’t have to go far in this town to find someone frustrated by the lack of bike lanes, connectivity of the trails or the difficulty of getting across town without your own hood. But that may get at least a partial fix soon.

The city’s transit department has $6.6 million of stimulus money (that federal cash viewed by some as a boost in a down economy and by others as wasteful spending with lax oversight). That will equip virtually all buses with bicycle racks (they each hold two bikes on the front of the bus). And the city is also considering placing bike racks or lockers where trails intersect with bus paths, said Mike Vinson, the city’s transit director. Read More »

Senate budget debate postponed for another day

TOPEKA – The Senate had anticipated debating it’s budget proposal Monday, but that’s been postponed while negotiations take place.

Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, R-Independence, said different factions on the Legislature had been working on their own budget solutions. Lawmakers are attempting to fill in a $328 million budget hole.

Instead of marching forward with this debate and forcing people to choose one faction or another we’re going to try to get those different groups to talk to each other over the next 24 hours and see if they can bridge their differences,” Schmidt said. “If that works the end result will be a budget with very broad support.”

That means the process will be hashed out off the chamber floor instead of in a very public debate.

“Negations are very delicate and debate is not always very delicate,” Schmidt said.

Gov. Mark Parkinson, a Democrat has advocated a “shared sacrifice” approach using a combination of delaying tax decreases and cuts to state programs. The House’s budget proposal which relied only on cuts to state government failed to muster enough support to pass on Friday.

The budget is only part of the process, the Senate has proposed delaying a phase out of the corporate franchise tax and estate tax, plus decoupling from the federal tax code to add $96 million to state coffers.

Those changes need to go through the Senate Taxation Committee first, that committee is meeting at 5 p.m. to discuss the changes.

Schmidt told the chamber shortly before they adjourned that he hoped to have a budget proposal to debate at that time.

Fire station groundbreaking gets moved due to mud

OK, this is amusing.

Mud has forced Sedgwick County to move a groundbreaking ceremony for a new fire station.

Instead of turning shovels today where Station 39 will be — 263rd Street West between 31st Street South and MacArthur –  officials will “dig shovels into strategically placed dirt” about a mile away at Shelter #1 at Lake Afton.