Daily Archives: June 11, 2013

Roberts, Moran split on farm bill

Kansas’ senators split on the $500 billion, five-year farm bill Monday, with Sen. Pat Roberts voting “no” and Sen. Jerry Moran in the 66-vote majority. “I want a farm bill to provide certainty for America’s producers and consumers, but this is not the best bill possible for farmers and ranchers or the taxpayer,” Roberts said in a statement. “Among my concerns, I am disappointed the farm bill includes target prices.” Moran said in a statement: “While I prefer the farm bill that passed a year ago, the new bill’s passage will help to reduce our swelling national debt by reforming costly programs, and gives farmers and ranchers the tools necessary to make certain the United States remains the most food secure country in the world.” Though a Roberts amendment to cut food stamps by $31 billion failed on a party-line vote, the bill includes a cut of about $400 million a year. The House is expected to take up its version of the farm bill later this month. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, predicted: “Unless there are some significant changes and some significant effort, I don’t think this’ll get across the floor.”

Who is behind campaign against Common Core?

Some school district superintendents from across the state plan to attend Tuesday’s Kansas State Board of Education meeting to express their support for Common Core education standards. They are defending the standards against false claims made by some Kansas lawmakers, both federal and state. Who is behind the opposition? One source is the American Principles Project, a group based in Washington, D.C., that has been distributing talking points and helping establish state-level opposition organizations, the Washington Post reported. An attorney for the group has appeared on Glenn Beck’s talk show and at tea party meetings around the country. FreedomWorks, a tea party umbrella organization, and some state affiliates of Americans for Prosperity also have been backing the opposition effort, the Post reported.

Brunk pulls off hat trick for disdainful comments

Rep. Steve Brunk, R-Wichita, managed to make disdainful comments about government, public schools and the judiciary in a single news article – a rare hat trick. In a Sunday Eagle article about the school finance lawsuit, Brunk said that there is a mood among lawmakers to “give the courts the finger, so to speak.” While complimenting the charity work of the Rev. Jeff Gannon, the Wichita plaintiff in the lawsuit, Brunk disparaged the work of government. He then mocked public schools for asking for more funding – when it is the Legislature that has reneged on its funding promise and is ignoring its own education cost studies.