Daily Archives: March 11, 2013

Brownback: U.S. needs another Ted Kennedy

How can Congress reach more bipartisan agreements? “We need Ted Kennedy,” Gov. Sam Brownback told Yahoo! Finance. Brownback, who worked with Kennedy (in photo) when they were both in the U.S. Senate, noted how Kennedy would reach across the aisle and work through problems for the good of the country. Brownback said the person most likely to fill that role now is Vice President Joe Biden. One reason Washington seems so disturbing, Brownback said, is that problems are worse than they’ve been for a long time. “There are no good solutions,” he said.

Statehouse shouldn’t put stem-cell center ahead of KU building needs

It’s strange that as the Legislature talks about denying the University of Kansas Medical Center a requested $10 million to build a new health education building, the Senate would vote 33-7 to create a Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center at KU estimated to cost $10 million over 10 years. Funding for the stem-cell center would come from federal grants, private gifts and other funds, according to a legislative note. “If Kansas could take a leadership position in that, it could be a highly useful thing for people to get treatments,” said Gov. Sam Brownback, who supports the new center but also recommended $10 million in state funding for a health education building at KU. Some KU faculty and administrators also have expressed support for the center, which would do non-embryonic stem-cell research. But such an important decision about the KU Medical Center and the Kansas Board of Regents should not start with a Statehouse mandate. And it’s hard to see why the center should take precedence over KU’s plan for the new $75 million medical building, which will help it train more physicians.

Kansas’ tax cuts inspiring Missouri debate

Missouri is wrestling with whether to imitate Kansas’ income-tax cuts and, not coincidentally, risk its own budget shortfall. “It may turn out that Kansas decides it wasn’t such a good fiscal policy to decimate their revenue,” said Sen. Jason Holsman, D-Kansas City, as the Missouri Senate approved a bill to cut state income taxes and raise sales taxes. Sponsoring Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit, said: “I’m trying to stop the bleeding. I’m trying to stop the businesses from fleeing into Kansas.” Earlier, Sen. Paul LeVota, D-Independence, had argued: “I believe we need to be the Show-Me State, not the ‘me too’ state.”