Daily Archives: Nov. 23, 2009

Governor’s $260 million in cuts hits roads, schools, disabled hardest

TOPEKA – A fifth round of cuts to state agency budgets hit highway maintenance funds and education hard.

Gov. Mark Parkinson, a Democrat, on Monday announced a fifth set of cuts to the current budget, which began July 1.

Every state agency has had money cut, he said.

At the beginning of the month, the Revenue Estimating Committee released its revised budget numbers, which showed the state needed to cut about $260 million from the state budget. That figure assumed the state would not pay additional money to kindergarten through 12th grade to make up for increased costs from enrollment growth and more students receiving free and reduced lunches.

The cuts fulfill Parkinson’s promise that lawmakers would have a balanced budget when they return to Topeka in January.

Below is the governor’s press release detailing the newest cuts.

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Moore: Congress “most exciting and frustrating” job I ever had

WASHINGTON –Congressman Dennis Moore released the following statement today:

It has been an honor and a privilege to have been elected six times to represent the people of the Third District in the U.S. House of Representatives. I have decided not to seek reelection in 2010. It is time for a new generation of leadership to step forward.

I am proud of all we have accomplished since I was first elected in 1998. I have always sought to be an active representative, engaged in the concerns and activities of our community.

My staff of hardworking Kansans has resolved thousands of cases for constituents facing federal government-related problems and has supported my work in Washington. I was proud to write and help enact legislation to increase death gratuity benefits for service members’ families, improved R&R travel benefits for service personnel and childproof cap requirements for gasoline cans.

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Phill Kline’s former chief of staff hit with legal ethics complaint

Eric Rucker, Phill Kline’s former top assistant, faces a formal ethics complaint that he made misleading comments before the Kansas Supreme Court.

The state’s disciplinary administrator, who investigates complaints against attorneys, today released the complaint against Rucker, who served as chief of staff when Kline was attorney general.

The complaint alleges that Rucker made misleading comments before the Kansas Supreme Court and used flawed statistics to back up a criminal case.

The allegations stem from Kline’s investigation of abortion clinics. Rucker’s complaint will go before a disciplinary panel in April; the panel will determine whether Rucker violated ethical rules for attorneys and will decide whether to recommend any disciplinary actions to the Supreme Court. Punishment could range from nothing to disbarment.

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Kansas governor to announce latest round of budget cuts

Today’s the day for more budget cuts in Kansas.

Gov. Mark Parkinson will unveil his plan to reduce state spending by some $260 million at 3:30 this afternoon, his office says.

This round of cuts – at least the fourth since the year began – comes as state revenues continue to flag.

Several Kansas school districts are threatening a lawsuit if school funding is cut again. The Board of Regents is hinting that any more budget cuts could prompt more tuition increases. Parkinson himself has said that social services and corrections have already been cut to the bone.

Last week Parkinson told reporters that there’s no more fat to cut from the budget.

“We are past the point of there being any easy decisions,” he said. “We are now cutting into the bone of government services.”

He said his office was examining every option, including employee furloughs.

“We’re looking at every possibility,” Parkinson said.