Daily Archives: May 9, 2011

Governor says legislators should wrap up by Thursday

TOPEKA — Gov. Sam Brownback is urging legislators to finish up their work by Thursday, the end of the 2011 legislative session.

Budget negotiators are still hammering out how taxpayer dollars will be spent next year. Thursday marks the 90th day of the session, which is the customary end. Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick, introduced a measure Friday to halt pay for legislators and support staff after Thursday. It costs about $60,000 every day legislators meet.

“The work of the 2011 legislative session is drawing to a close. I am grateful for the Kansas Legislature’s hard work this session,” Brownback said in a news release. “There still is important work to accomplish, but state lawmakers can and should complete their work within the 90-day session. I will continue working with legislative Leaders and budget negotiators to finalize an agreement that supports economic development and serves basic needs. Cutting $800 million in spending is challenging, but we’ll get it done and our state will be better for it. It will help create the right conditions for economic recovery and job growth.”

Thursday, May 12th marks the 90th day of the 2011 session.

Current version of Senate bill would require voter ID in 2012, a year earlier than planned

TOPEKA — The current version of Senate Bill 129 would move up requiring voter ID a year earlier than originally planned, to 2012.

That concerns the League of Women Voters of Kansas. The bill would require new voters registering for the first time to show proof of citizenship, which the league believes is unnecessary.

“We have adequate identification as it is now,” said Ernestine Krehbiel, president of the League in Kansas.

She said requiring birth certificates will put up a hurdle that will turn potential voters away.

“Every married woman who has taken their husband’s name, their birth certificate won’t even match their names,” Krehbiel said.

Requiring a birth certificate, she said, will result in fewer people voting, she said.

“It does not make it safer,” she said of voter fraud.

People will view it as “too much of a burden and decide ‘Well, never mind,’ ” she said.

Senate ways and means committee passes budget proposal

TOPEKA — The Senate’s ways and means committee has passed a budget proposal that leaves the state’s ending balance at more than $55 million, according to a news release from Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick.

Budget negotiators from the Senate and House are scheduled to meet again at 4 p.m. today.

“We put pen to paper again this weekend, and hammered out another solution,” said McGinn, lead budget negotiator for the Senate. “What this budget really does is take the best components of the Senate plan and blend them with the best components of the House plan.”

The committee’s proposal would, the news release said:

  • Secure an ending balance of more than $55 million;

  • Minimize cuts to K-12 schools, allowing for $3,786 in base state aid per student;

  • Allow early childhood programs to continue serving our state’s youngest children, including Early Head Start, Pre-K and Parents as Teachers;

  • Keep critical services for the elderly intact;

  • Stabilize funding for state colleges and universities;

  • Fund waivers for the developmentally disabled;

  • Provide for the Kansas Neurological Institute (KNI), arts commission, Kansas Affordable Airfares Program and Washburn University.

“I think this is a plan we all go can go home with, knowing we made significant spending cuts without jeopardizing our state’s long-term economic recovery,” said McGinn.

Budget conferees coming back at 4 with full offers

TOPEKA — House and Senate budget conferees plan to meet again at 4 p.m. today to offer full budgets, foregoing smaller deals for the sake of timing.

Rep. Marc Rhoades, R-Newton and the House’s lead budget negotiator, said his chamber had signed an agree to disagree commitment.

Legislators are nearing the end of the 90-day session.

That both chambers plan to return this afternoon with full offers is a sign that an agreement may be reached soon on how your tax dollars will be spent.

The chambers remain divided on dollars for education, universities, the judicial system and the Kansas Affordable Airfares Program.