Governor vetoes provision blocking funds to Planned Parenthood

TOPEKA – Gov. Mark Parkinson excised a provision in the state’s wrap up budget that would have prevented Planned Parenthood from receiving money for non-abortion family planning services.

He approved the remaining majority of the Senate substitute House Bill 2373.

Planned Parenthood last year received about $300,000 of the money, which are federal funds that the state administers.

“Regardless of one’s views on whether abortion should be allowed in this country, hopefully we can all agree that we should make every effort to prevent unplanned pregnancies,” wrote the governor in his veto message. “Access to affordable family planning services and contraceptives is critical if we are to continue reducing the number of abortions that occur in this state.”

State Sen. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, inserted the provision into the omnibus budget bill during the Legislature’s wrap-up session earlier this month. Both chambers passed the bill including the provision.

While the money cannot be used for abortions, Huelskamp proposed blocking the funds because the Planned Parenthood does offer abortion services, he said in a release when the budget bill passed.

Parkinson, a Democrat, noted in his veto message that the group was eligible under the federal grant to receive the money, so the state could not block the funds.

For more details on the veto and the budget, read Saturday’s Wichita Eagle.

Below is the full veto message from Parkinson:

Section 89 has been line-item vetoed in its entirety:

“Regardless of one’s views on whether abortion should be allowed in this country, hopefully we can all agree that we should make every effort to prevent unplanned pregnancies. Access to affordable family planning services and contraceptives is critical if we are to continue reducing the number of abortions that occur in this state.

“This section would prohibit distribution of Title X moneys to private family planning providers unless they are either a hospital or provide comprehensive primary and preventative care in addition to family planning services. This proviso would prevent funding for two facilities of other eligible family planning providers. These facilities do not perform abortions, and by law, Title X funding cannot be used for abortion services.

“Both of these facilities provide affordable access to contraceptives and family planning services for women who are significantly below the poverty level. These women are most at risk for unplanned pregnancies. The family planning services provided by these facilities help lower the likelihood of unplanned pregnancy, and thus reduce abortions. Eliminating funding for programs intended to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies does nothing to help reduce abortions in Kansas.

“I am also concerned this proviso violates Title X of the Public Service Act. The facilities ineligible for funding under this proviso are, by law, eligible under Title X to receive the grants. The Public Service Act is clear that states are not permitted to refuse the award of Title X funding to entities that meet the statutory requirements for the grants. I therefore find it necessary to line-item veto this proviso.”

Peterjohn endorses Huelskamp for Congress

State Sen. Tim Huelskamp has picked up the endorsement of anti-tax activist and Sedgwick County Commissioner Karl Peterjohn.

Huelskamp, a Fowler Republican, is running for the 1st Congressional District hoping to replace U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran, a Republican, who is running for the U.S. Senate that Sen. Sam Brownback is vacating. Brownback, a Republican, is running for governor.

Huleskamp is one of many Republicans hoping to replace Moran in Washington D.C. Other contenders include: Fort Hays State University education instructor Sue Boldra: Pratt businessman Tim Barker; and former Brownback chief of staff, Rob Wasinger.

Below is the release sent out by Huelskamp’s campaign announcing the endorsement.

“Kansas Anti-Tax Leader Notes Huelskamp Always Honored ‘Taxpayer Protection Pledge’

Conservative anti-tax Kansas crusader Karl Peterjohn today announced his endorsement of Republican Tim Huelskamp (KS-01) for Congress.

According to Peterjohn: “Some others in this race have bragged about being the first to sign the ‘no tax’ pledge. Well, I’m here to tell you that Tim Huelskamp signed American’s for Tax Reform’s ‘Taxpayer Protection Pledge’ thirteen years ago — and despite great pressure to break his pledge on several occasions – he has always honored his promise to Kansas taxpayers. I am proud to support his bid for Congress.”

Peterjohn has been the Executive Director of the influential Kansas Taxpayers Network since 1992 and was elected to the Board of Sedgwick County Commissioners in 2008.

“Karl Peterjohn has worked tirelessly on behalf of Kansas taxpayers. I am honored to receive his endorsement,” said Huelskamp.

Last week, Huelskamp met with Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist and has again signed the pledge — this time as a candidate for U.S. Congress.

“We signed the ‘Taxpayer Protection Pledge’ thirteen years ago when I first ran for the state senate and have never gone back on our word. I’m looking forward to continuing that same tradition of integrity and fiscal leadership in the United States Congress,” said Huelskamp.”