Kansas Reporter

Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Thursday March 10, 2011

Kansas labor report. For January 2011, the Kansas Department of Labor reports: "According to January 2011 estimates, Kansas businesses lost 6,100 jobs over-the-year, a 0.5 percent decrease. ... The January 2011 unemployment rate in Kansas was 7.4 percent, up from 6.4 in December 2010 but down from 7.9 percent in January 2010." Said Labor Secretary Karin Brownlee: "The Great Recession continues to take a tremendous toll on the Kansas economy. The Governor’s focus on creating jobs could not be more timely. The work by the Brownback administration to make Kansas the best place to do business is the focus needed…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Monday February 28, 2011

Elections tomorrow. On Tuesday voters across Kansas will vote in city and school board primary elections. Well, at least a few will vote, as it is thought that only nine percent of eligible voters will actually vote. Many of those may have already voted by now, as advance voting is popular. For those who haven't yet decided, here's the Wichita Eagle voter guide. Kansas schools can transfer funds? A recent legislative update by Kansas Representative Bob Brookens, a Republican from Marion, tells readers this about Kansas school finance: "Most school districts in our area braced for this possibility by taking…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Thursday February 3, 2011

Wichita-area legislators to meet with public. From Rep. Jim Ward, South-Central Delegation Chair: "Public comment about the proposed state budget, health care reform, voter eligibility and other major issues will be heard by local legislators at 9:00 am Saturday, Feb. 5, at the Wichita State University Metroplex, 29th and Oliver. The forum is the first of the 2011 legislative session and is hosted by the South-Central State Legislative Delegation. ... Delegation members will take written and spoken questions from the public during the two-hour session. 'Legislators need to hear from the people who are affected by these important issues,' said…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Wednesday January 26, 2011

Kansas legislature website. The Kansas legislature’s website is improving. Today the calendar is available for today's session of the House, although yesterday's journal is not. The Senate is better, with both today's calendar and yesterday's journal available. These documents are now presented in the preferred pdf format, although the unconventional and inconvenient viewing window is still being used. ... Contact information for members seems to be fairly complete, even for the newest member who was elected just last week. ... Bills seem to be more up-to-date, with history available for some. But so far I've not seen any bill's fiscal…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Tuesday December 28, 2010

Hawker Beechcraft deal breaks new ground. When asked by KAKE Television's This Week in Kansas host Tim Brown if the Hawker Beechcraft deal was good for Kansas, Wichita State University professor H. Edward Flentje said that while the deal was "great news" in the short term, it raised policy questions in the long term. He said he didn't think the state has invested in a company that is downsizing, with Hawker shrinking by one-third over the past few years. He added that he believed this is the first time the state has a provision of state law to retain jobs,…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Wednesday December 1, 2010

Tax incentives questioned. In a commentary in Site Selection Magazine, Daniel Levine lays out the case that tax incentives that states use to lure or keep jobs are harmful, and the practice should end. In Incentives and the Interstate Competition for Jobs he writes: "Despite overwhelming evidence that state and local tax incentives are having little to no positive effect on promoting real economic growth anywhere in the country, states continue to up the ante with richer and richer incentive programs. ... there are real questions as to whether the interstate competition for jobs is a wise use of anyone’s…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Tuesday November 16, 2010

Future of California. George Gilder, writing in the Wall Street Journal, lays out a grim future for California based on voters' refusal to overturn AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act. Of the requirement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state, Gilder writes: "That's a 30% drop followed by a mandated 80% overall drop by 2050. Together with a $500 billion public-pension overhang, the new energy cap dooms the state to bankruptcy." He says that AB 32 may not be necessary at all: "The irony is that a century-long trend of advance in conventional 'non-renewable' energy -- from wood…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Thursday November 4, 2010

The future of politics is here, now. After noting how California reached way back to the past to elect a governor, Denis Boyles writes in National Review Online about the future, and how it's being made right here: "If you want to see the bright and shining politics of the future, you have to go to the country’s heartland, and specifically to Kansas, a place most Democrats only know from Thomas Frank’s liberal folklore. There, the election has yielded two new congressmen -- Mike Pompeo and the remarkable Tim Huelskamp -- who were not created by the Tea Party movement…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Tuesday October 26, 2010

Karl Rove. "Former George W. Bush aide Matt Latimer was there to observe the dealings of Karl Rove during the previous administration, and he writes that there’s no secret why most conservatives have now come to view Rove as a fraud. Latimer says that Rove has become symbolic of a GOP establishment that’s known for its utter betrayal and ruin of the Party that Reagan had left so strong. Now that his secret is out, Rove’s influence will only continue to diminish as time goes on and the Tea Parties take over." A fascinating look at the legacy of Rove,…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Tuesday October 12, 2010

Wichita Visioneers in Louisville. The Wichita Business Journal's Emily Behlmann reports on a trip by Wichitans to Louisville to get ideas on transforming Wichita's downtown. Hopefully they won't get this idea, as reported yesterday by the Louisville Courier-Journal: "The heavily subsidized 4th Street Live entertainment district has come under criticism from locally owned businesses for receiving millions of dollars in tax breaks and government subsidies -- including a controversial, $950,000 city loan that won't necessarily have to be repaid." According to Wichita planner Goody Clancy, heavy subsidy isn't supposed to be necessary in Wichita. And, I hope all the planners…
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