Daily Archives: Nov. 18, 2013

Two-tier voting scheme could be costly

votingLike Kansas, Arizona is pursuing a two-tiered voting scheme in which those who registered to vote following the federal rules (which don’t require proof of citizenship) would only be able to vote in federal races, not also in state and local elections. In addition to being confusing and unfair, such a scheme would increase costs. Election officials in Maricopa County, Arizona’s most populous, estimated that it would cost at least an additional $250,000, and probably more, to conduct two-tiered primary and general elections in 2014.

Open thread (Nov. 18)

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Kansas not only state that cut taxes, funds for schools

school-funding“Five of the seven states that have cut general school aid per student by more than 15 percent since 2008 also cut personal or corporate income tax rates during this period,” wrote Michael Leachman of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Kansas cut spending per pupil, adjusted for inflation, by 16.5 percent while passing tax cuts that are expected to cost $3.8 billion over the next five years, Leachman noted. The other four states are Oklahoma (22.8 percent cut in school funding), Arizona (17.2 percent), Idaho (15.9 percent) and Wisconsin (15.3 percent). The problem for Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature is that the Kansas Constitution requires the state to suitably finance education And as a three judge panel ruled – and the Kansas Supreme Court likely will affirm – it doesn’t fly to claim the state can’t afford to spend more on schools when it dramatically cut taxes.

Huelskamp changing tactics on Obamacare?

huelskampIs Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, realizing that his slash-and-burn style of politics isn’t productive? Probably not. But he is telling constituents that another government shutdown to choke off funding for the Affordable Care Act is unlikely, Politico reported. And though he would still like to repeal Obamacare and recently urged constituents to defy its mandates (including any tax penalties), he backed the House bill to prevent Americans from losing their individual health plans. “It’ll solve, hopefully, some of the short-term problems,” Huelskamp said at a recent town hall meeting in Plainville. If other GOP lawmakers would sincerely work to improve Obamacare, rather than grandstand, other changes might be possible, too.