Daily Archives: May 6, 2014

Kansas bond downgrade a ‘wake-up call’ for Oklahoma

moneystretch3Oklahoma State Treasurer Ken Miller warned that the reduction last week in Kansas’ bond rating should serve as a “wake-up call” for Oklahoma. He said that Oklahoma faces some of the same challenges that led Moody’s Investor Services to lower Kansas’ bond rating, including pension obligations and the use of one-time revenue to cover operating expenses. Though Oklahoma has also cut its taxes, Miller said those tax cuts “have been much more responsible than Kansas.” Oklahoma’s tax receipts for April were up 3.3 percent from last year, while Kansas’ April revenue was down 45 percent. He said that Kansas is “not being fiscally conservative, because fiscally conservative is paying your bills.”

Open thread (May 6)

teacher

Belated urgency on contaminated well water

waterfaucetIt’s good news that 10 affected homes have been hooked up to the municipal water supply, with service promised soon to the rest of the 114 homes in west Wichita where officials say private wells were contaminated by dry-cleaning chemicals. “First thing’s first: Getting water service to the folks as quickly and expeditiously as possible,” said Alan King, the city of Wichita’s director of public works and utilities, noting that the process is being streamlined and the fee details will be worked out later with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. “Our No. 1 concern right now is that everyone has healthy water to drink,” is how KDHE spokesman Ashton Rucker put it. Urgency is certainly in order now. But where was it five years ago, when KDHE first detected the tetrachloroethylene, a likely carcinogen, in a monitoring well on West Kellogg?