Editorial Commentary: Ken Ciboski

Political commentator Ken Ciboski stands just right of center and offers a common-sense view of politics today.

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The 2017 state legislature is likely to go into an extra session because no consensus appears to be developing for a revenue-raising and spending bill to meet the needs of the state.

The state legislature is in the final weeks of its 2017 session, and it still faces important fiscal decisions.  One is to comply with a mandate by the Kansas Supreme Court, which decided in March of this year to increase funding for K-12 education by June 30 of an estimated $800 million per year. Also, an annual funding formula for K-12 education has yet to be adopted. Cuts in school funding occurred in 2008 and were blamed on the national recession of that year.

J. Schafer / KPR/File photo

The 2017 Kansas state legislature has performed poorly. The legislature seems more supportive of the Governor than it is of the people. It failed to override the Governor’s veto of a fair and balanced tax and revenue measure passed by the legislature, and many issues remain unresolved.

kslegislature.org

  

The Kansas state legislature and the Governor are at an impasse about revenue and tax policies. More cuts in state spending are being proposed, but I have heard nothing about the money savings that could occur by cutting the number of legislators.  

The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that increased funding of K-12 education in Kansas is needed. The Court did not say how much money would be required to fund the schools adequately, but it gave the legislature a deadline of June 30 to devise a formula to fund the schools with more money.

The Kansas House and Senate advanced tax bills this past week that endanger Governor Brownback’s signature tax plan.  

The House passed the measure last Thursday with a 76-48 vote. 

Senator Ty Masterson of Andover dubbed the House measure “a piece of garbage.”

The Senate passed the measure the next day 22-18--just one vote above the minimum required for passage.

Ciboski: Budget Issues

Feb 8, 2017
Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

This week, the Kansas Senate began considering Senate Bill 147, introduced by Senate GOP leaders. This measure would reinstate taxes on business income from limited liability companies.  

kansas.gov

Governor Sam Brownback disappointed many Kansans when he failed to offer a long-term plan in his State of the State address on how to get Kansas out of its fiscal hole. Instead, the governor reiterated that he believes his tax plan is working.

Why were the national media and the forecasts of the polls wrong for the 2016 presidential election?

The 2017 Kansas legislative session convenes on January 9. The work of the session is expected to be demanding and difficult as the legislature hopes to reach a legislative consensus on revenue and tax policy and on what to do about a $350 million deficit for the current fiscal year. In anticipation of the difficulty in reaching a consensus, the legislature has scheduled the coming session from 90 to 100 days.

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