Kansas news digest

News from alternative media around Kansas for November 9, 2009.

Political involvement and Kansas smoking ban

(State of the State Kansas) “This week we focus on two issues: the proposed smoking ban in public places and getting young people involved in the political process.”

Districts Have Funds To Meet Projected $100 Million Shortfall

(Kansas Watchdog) “Kansas school districts will fall about $100 million short of needed funds by the end of the current 2010 fiscal year according to Dale Dennis, Deputy Commissioner of the Kansas Department of Education. But school districts statewide had $175.7 million in their contingency reserve funds at the beginning of the current fiscal year. Dennis says those taxpayers’ dollars can be used to cover the shortfall, but once districts spend that money it’s gone.”

Does not compute: Kansas to use “stimulus” debt to save future interest payments?

(Kansas Watchdog) “So, we’re using $159.2 million in stimulus spending to realize interest savings on bonds? But that $159.2 million is new debt. We’re trading ‘saved interest’ for more debt? What we’re doing is only increasing the debt and the interest we owe.”

Human services and school funding dragging state into a deep deficit

(Kansas Liberty) “If Kansas maintains full funding for human-service caseloads and school financing — including the huge outlays for special education — the state’s budget will plummet into a deficit of $722.5 million within the next two years, according the state’s Consensus Estimating Group.”

Roberts warns Democratic health plan may cost taxpayers $2.4 trillion

(Kansas Liberty) “Kansas’ U.S. Senator Pat Roberts said Wednesday that the Democratic health care plan could result in a $2.4 trillion tax burden being placed on United States residents over the next decade. ‘The rushed health care reform proposals being debated behind closed doors could end up costing the taxpayer $2.4 trillion over ten years while doing nothing to lower the rising cost of care for patients and causing insurance premiums to rise,’ Roberts said in a statement. Roberts’ data comes from the Senate Budget Committee, a spokesperson said.”

Proposed health insurance ‘exchanges’ worry Blue Cross

(Kansas Liberty) “The Democratic health care plan’s creation of a ‘health insurance exchange’ brings up some concerns for private health insurance providers — and for Republicans who are opposed to an expansion of government. The exchange will create a marketplace, likely online, which will allow for businesses and individuals to select their health insurance on their own. This will differ from most current practices in which either health insurance brokers, or in-house employees work as facilitators to match businesses and individuals with health insurance plans, although it also duplicates existing private enterprise solutions. … ‘And what we do not need is an insurance version of Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac.'”

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