News from alternative media around Kansas for November 16, 2009.
(Kansas Liberty) “The 2010 Commission, which monitors school finance, is recommending that Gov. Mark Parkinson and the Kansas Legislature raise taxes to maintain funding for K-12 education. The commission is not only asking that K-12 receives no cuts for fiscal year 2010, but that schools also receive an increase in funding for fiscal year 2011. School districts have threatened legislators that they will pursue a lawsuit if they do not receive the level of funding they have requested.”
(Kansas Liberty) Are these numbers real? “A November 2006 audit conducted by the Legislative Division of the Post Audit delved into the topic of whether or not the number of students identified as receiving free lunches, actually qualified for the benefit. The audit found that out of a sample of 500 students who received free lunches, 85 actually did not qualify for the benefits.”
(State of the State Kansas) “This week we focus on the impact of federal cap and trade legislation on Kansas. As an agricultural state, Kansas seems caught in the cross hairs of farming and climate regulation.
At its most simple, Cap and Trade is a system designed to limit pollution by assigning emissions credits. If you emit more than your share, you can buy more credits on an market, similar to the New York Stock Exchange. The Environmental Protection Agency has a great Cap and Trade 101 program on their website to learn more.
Things get complicated when it becomes clear that some industries are harder hit by this regulation and agriculture it at the top of the list.”
(Kansas Watchdog) “Schools for Fair Funding (SFFF) met in Newton today, including a one-hour executive session, to consider a possible lawsuit against the state. The only motion offered after the executive session was to approve next month’s meeting in Salina.”
(Kansas Watchdog) “Access to data is only part of the battle to maintain citizen oversight of government spending. Kansas agencies and departments classified $254.3 million in 2009 vendor payments as ‘confidential by law or legal authority.’”
(Kansas Watchdog) “Kansas Department of Education officials told the state board of education they’re expecting more funding cuts and discussed ways to help stretch this year’s budget, including school consolidations and spending unencumbered cash left over from last year’s operating funds. District unencumbered cash balances were a recurring topic and one board member commented, ‘Please, lets stop talking about $1.3 billion in unencumbered funds.’ Actually, that was last year’s number.
This year total unencumbered funds grew to almost $1.5 billion. The portion in operating funds totaled $699 million and Deputy Commissioner of Education Dale Dennis told board members districts can access most of that amount. Districts can spend the operating funds carried over from last year by spending them down and not replenishing the funding category from the district’s general fund. ‘If you wanted to run balances down in funds just don’t transfer money over there.’”
(Forward Kansas) “On Tuesday, Forward Kansas broke the story that Jim Anderson was looking at a potential third party run for the KS-04 seat, and, yesterday, we had the chance to catch up with the Anderson campaign in KS-04. We asked Shanen Taylor, media coordinator for the Anderson campaign, whether Anderson was eyeballing a run as a third party conservative candidate in the Congressional race. Taylor admitted that ‘anything’s possible’ and running as a third party candidate was a consideration in the wake of the coup pulled off by Doug Hoffman against the Republican Party establishment in the NY-23 special election last week.”
(Kansas Free Press) “Knowing that she wouldn’t possibly remember meeting me, I acted like I had never met her before and let the host introduce me to Kansas 42nd Governor. ‘Governor, nice to meet you,’ I said. I then walked into the kitchen, and let others visit with the Governor in the living room. I was content that I got to meet Finney again, and went to the kitchen to talk to friends while others bothered the Governor about this or that.”