Kansas Watchdog

Kansas schools have used funds to increase spending

Although revenue to Kansas school districts has declined, schools have been able to increase spending by using fund balances. These fund balances have been the subject of controversy, with school spending advocates insisting that they can't be used in the way that we now see they have been used. The controversy over school spending has been played out in the pages of the Wichita Eagle, both on the editorial page and in advertisements placed by public interest groups. The group that has placed most of the ads, the Kansas Policy Institute, was mentioned, although not by name, in an Eagle…
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Kansas sales tax study criticized

Wichita State University economist John Wong has produced a study showing that while an increase in the Kansas sales tax would kill jobs, it would result in less net job loss than a reduction in state spending. This differs from an earlier study which finds much greater job loss. The difference between the two studies, as explained in a Kansas Watchdog story (Studies Agree: A Sales Tax Increase Kills Jobs) is that one study is a static snapshot covering just one year, 2011. The other looked at the long-range consequences of the tax increase. It should not be surprising that…
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Kansas news digest

News from alternative media around Kansas for March 22, 2010. Republicans on the left help defeat Health Care Freedom Amendment (Kansas Liberty) "Greg Ward, co-founder of the Kansas 9.12 Project and founder of the Kansas Sovereignty Coalition, was disappointed in the outcome, but said he was especially concerned about the actions of the Republican members who voted against the measure. 'I am amazed at the number of Republicans working to limit the liberties we have instead of limiting the overreaching government on both the federal and state level that seeks more and more control of our lives,' Ward told Kansas…
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Kansas news digest

News from alternative media around Kansas for March 16, 2010. School consolidation measures deliberated in House (Kansas Liberty) "The Kansas House tentatively approved a plan today that would allow three or more school districts to consolidate into two districts. House Bill 2704 originally included two consolidation-promoting components, but one of the components was stripped off on the House floor under the direction of Rep. Bill Light, R-Rolla." Concealed-carry bill stalls in committee (Kansas Liberty) "Legislation promoting an alteration to the state‚Äôs concealed-carry law has been sitting in the House Federal and State Affairs committee since its February hearing. House Bill…
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Kansas taxes have impact

Do Kansas taxes have an impact on business location decisions? Are Kansas taxes lower than surrounding states, as claimed by supporters of raising Kansas taxes? Here's an answer: "A QuickTrip store near the Kansas-Missouri line was rebuilt so the store and gasoline storage tanks were in Missouri to avoid higher taxes and more regulations in Kansas. One estimate is the store will save about $1.4 million a year from this short move." From Kansas Watchdog TV.
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Kansas Senate blocks new journalism

Does the application for press credentials to the Kansas Senate contain questions designed to limit or restrict the types of organizations that apply? A bit of background: In a New York Times op-ed from a year ago (News You Can Endow), the authors tell of the financial troubles of newspapers: "Today, we are dangerously close to having a government without newspapers. American newspapers shoulder the burden of considerable indebtedness with little cash on hand, as their profit margins have diminished or disappeared." The reaction of newspapers: "News organizations have cut costs, with grave consequences." It's an important issue. As the…
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Wichita’s Paul Soutar on the ground in Massachusetts

Kansas Watchdog's Paul Soutar is in Massachusetts contributing to coverage of the special election for the United States Senate. Paul filed a report yesterday: Springfield Union Locals Come Out for Coakley. He's right in the thick of it, too. American Spectator reports in Coakley Supporters Try to Intimidate. Video is at Martha Coakley Supporters Wrap Paul Soutar In Sign:
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Fake stimulus exposed by Watchdog group

There's a new dog in town, and doing a great job already. In New Mexico, the New Mexico Watchdog reported the story More Than 4,800 New Jobs Created in New Mexico in Less than a Month from Stimulus, According to Obama Administration Data, which is apparently the first news story to notice the glaring errors -- some say fraud -- in stimulus data provided by the government website Recovery.gov. The national Watchdog site then reported $6.4 Billion Stimulus Goes to Phantom Districts. Watchdog.org is a project of the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity. There are state-level watchdogs in…
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