Daily Archives: May 5, 2013

Docking questions Brownback on higher ed

At an April Wichita Downtown Rotary luncheon meeting featuring Gov. Sam Brownback, the questioners included Jill Docking, the Democrat and financial adviser who lost to Brownback in his first U.S. Senate race in 1996. Docking, a member of the Kansas Board of Regents from 2007 to 2010, wrote on her policy site, the Docking Blog, about Brownback’s recent lobbying to keep higher-education funding flat by extending the higher sales-tax rate. “Taken on its face, the governor’s endorsement of ‘no cuts’ sounds like support, even the work of a savior. But when you take a look at the history of funding for the regent institutions in Kansas, it becomes apparent that the governor is advocating for maintaining not adequate funding but recession-level funding,” Docking wrote, citing an 11 percent decline in state funding for higher ed from 2008 through 2012. Now that Brownback wants to “lock education funding into recession levels” to help fund his “experimental” business and personal income-tax cuts, she continued, one “danger is that those states reinvesting in higher education after the recession will prey on our talent pool – at the cost of Kansas’ future economic competitiveness. When you understand this context, you come to realize that the governor is not solving the problem of adequate funding of higher education – he is exacerbating it.”

Roberts wants action on Ike memorial

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is tired of the protracted battle over the planned memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower (in photo) in Washington, D.C. Congress authorized the construction of the memorial in 1999, and its design was approved in 2010. But some Eisenhower family members oppose the design, as do some other critics who want a more classical memorial. Roberts, who is a member of the Eisenhower Memorial Commission’s executive board, approves of the design and wants to start construction, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported. “It’s a highly deserved memorial,” Roberts said. “It fits Eisenhower’s life and what he would have wanted.” Carl Reddel, executive director of the memorial commission, was in Wichita last week trying to generate support for the project, noting how the design highlights Ike’s Kansas roots. Roberts said that it is time to move on the project, “or else we’ll see another decade go by without an Eisenhower memorial.”

So they said

“We know who these people are. They’re the good guys. Why would we take the good guys’ right to defend themselves away?” – Rep. Jim Howell, R-Derby, talking on Kansas City public radio station KCUR about the new law allowing concealed-carry in more public buildings

“This is definitely an unfunded mandate. I just don’t like someone telling me what I can do in my house.” – Pratt County Sheriff Vernon Chinn, about the concealed-carry expansion

“We have become a pawn in a game of high-stakes poker.” – Shawn Naccarato, director of community and governmental relations at Pittsburg State University, on how higher-education funding figures into the Statehouse’s sales-tax debate

“Why in the world would we abolish one of the rarest things in American political history, a government program that’s working?” – Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, in the Washington Times, on federal legislation that would repeal the E-Verify immigration-status check system