June 13 , 2017
FINALLY, SOMETHING ISN'T THE MATTER WITH KANSAS
Michael Tomasky, The New York Times
The most momentous political news of the past week? For my money...It was the Kansas Legislature's decision to defy the governor and raise income taxes...
Hear me out. Kansas, under Gov. Sam Brownback, has come as close as we've ever gotten in the United States to conducting a perfect experiment in supply-side economics.
The taxes were cut, and by a lot. The cumulative cut was forecast to be $3.9 billion by 2019. A fellow at a right-leaning Missouri think tank said in 2015 that Mr. Brownback's cuts were "the biggest tax cut of any state, relative to the size of its economy, in recent history."
The cuts came. But the growth never did.
So here's hoping that Kansas represents a breakthrough moment. The effects of our failure to invest in ourselves are all around us. Change won't come fast - for one thing, very few  Americans know the above, because no one talks about it (hello, Democrats). But at least for now we can say, for the first time in a long time, that something finally isn't the matter with Kansas.  Read more here .
KANSAS WISE TO UNDO FAILED TAX-CUT EXPERIMENT
Nicholas Johnson, CBPP
The Kansas legislature wisely voted to start rebuilding the state's lagging economy by eliminating unwarranted tax breaks and raising much-needed new revenue to invest in schools and other vital services that will help the state and its people now and in the future. A bipartisan supermajority of both houses recognized the damage that Governor Brownback's tax cuts have caused and came together to choose a different path. This vote represents a striking repudiation of far-right wing economic orthodoxy and, as such, will influence fiscal debates far beyond the state's borders. Kansas is now choosing a constructive and forward-looking approach to its finances, and other states will be taking notice.  Read more here .
IF CONSERVATIVES CAN REGAIN SANITY IN KS, THERE'S HOPE FOR THE REST OF THE COUNTRY
Charles P. Pierce, Esquire
If you want to see the details of the conservative Republican plan to remake America, it's best to look away from the dazzling array of shiny objects being cranked out by the national executive these days and to focus instead on Kansas, where Governor Sam Brownback is now in his sixth year of turning the state into the primary lab-rat for every bad economic idea that has emerged on the American right since the day Arthur Laffer first scribbled on a cocktail napkin.
It's taken hard, relentless concentration on the fundamental fantasies of supply-side economics to bring Kansas to the political ruin it enjoys today. Brownback's singleminded devotion to what Poppy Bush once called "voodoo economics" is almost something spiritual. And he shows no signs of abandoning it any time soon.
Read more here.
MOODY'S: KANSAS' CREDIT OUTLOOK STABLE AFTER REPEAL OF BROWNBACK'S TAX PLAN
Bryan Lowry, The Kansas City Star
Kansas' credit outlook is now stable after lawmakers repealed Gov. Sam Brownback's tax cuts earlier this week, according to Moody's Investor Services.
The rating agency affirmed the state's Aa2 credit rating and revised its outlook from negative to stable following Kansas' lawmakers decision to override Brownback's veto and repeal his 2012 income tax cuts.
Kansas has experienced multiple credit downgrades in recent years. Moody's noted that the state has repeatedly hurt its credit outlook by depleting cash reserves and deferring pension contributions, but the $1.2 billion tax increase would "go a long way toward solving the state's budget challenges."  Read more here .
FACT CHECK: DELVING INTO BROWNBACK'S DEFENSE OF
TAX CUTS
Megan Hart, High Plains Public Radio
Gov. Sam Brownback defended his signature tax cuts this week after lawmakers overrode his veto of a bill repealing them, but he may have exaggerated their impact.  Brownback painted a dark picture of Kansas' economy before the tax cuts and of its future after they are repealed - and a rosy image of their impact on the state.  Here's a look at some of the governor's statements and how they compare with available information.
Read more here.
POOR LEGACY: GOVERNOR FAILS ON MANY FRONTS, TO INCLUDE A LACK OF HUMILITY
Dena Sattler, The Garden City Telegram
From the maintenance of his destructive tax cuts year after year to his rejection of Medicaid expansion in our state, Brownback has repeatedly proven that his conservative ideology takes precedence over the needs and wishes of Kansans.  Our next governor needs to have a trait that isn't often associated with politicians: humility. While any good leader should be confident and assertive, Kansans have learned that the governor simply has to be someone willing to say, "I was wrong." Brownback still refuses to say anything of the sort, which is one of the main reasons this is one of the longest legislative sessions in history.
Read more here.
HOW A GROUP OF FEMALE LAWMAKERS AND A TOP REPUBLICAN ROLLED BACK BROWNBACK'S TAX CUTS
Hunter Woodall & Jonathan Shorman,
The Kansas City Star
Gov. Sam Brownback's signature tax cuts were undone in part by a group of female lawmakers determined to forge a compromise with one another and a conservative House speaker who decided the time was finally right to support a tax increase.
Days of negotiations among a bipartisan coalition known as the Women's Caucus led to a tax plan that significantly influenced the final deal the Legislature passed this week. 
And after Brownback quickly vetoed the bill and denounced the tax plan, House Speaker Ron Ryckman's decision to vote yes on overriding the governor provided the spark needed for other conservative lawmakers to vote yes.  Read more here .
KIDS CLIMATE LAWSUIT HEADS TO TRIAL JUDGE DENIES TRUMP ADMINISTRATION'S APPEAL
EcoWatch
U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken issued an order Thursday denying motions filed by the Trump administration and the fossil fuel industry that sought to appeal her Nov. 10, 2016 order in Juliana v. United States to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The order follows the Trump administration's remarkable Tuesday night filing of a notice giving Judge Aiken a deadline of June 9 to issue her order.
"The more evidence we gather for our case, the more I realize how decisively we can win at trial," said 20-year-old Alex Loznak of Roseburg, Oregon, one of 21 youth plaintiffs. "It's no wonder the Trump administration wants to avoid the trial by seeking an unwarranted, premature appeal. Today's ruling brings us one step closer to trial and to winning our lawsuit." Read more here.
MANY KANSAS LAWMAKERS SEE SCHOOL FUNDING WORK AS INCOMPLETE
John Hanna, cjonline.com
Many Kansas legislators see their work toward complying with a state Supreme Court mandate on public school funding as unfinished even though lawmakers passed an increase in spending. Some expect to be forced to return to the Statehouse this summer.
Legislators approved a bill last week that phases in a $293 million increase in aid to the state's 286 school districts over two years. Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has until June 19 to act on it and he and his aides haven't hinted at his plans.  If the plan becomes law, the Supreme Court still must review it. The justices ruled in March that the state's current education funding of about $4 billion a year is inadequate. Even lawmakers who support the plan fear at least parts of it won't satisfy the court, forcing them to do more work later.
Here are key issues and potential consequences of the court's review.  Read more here .
BEFORE GUNS COME TO CAMPUS, WSU PROFESSOR IS LEAVING
Suzanne Perez Tobias, The Wichita Eagle
Deborah Ballard-Reisch.jpg
A communications professor at Wichita State University says she is resigning because a law allowing concealed weapons on campus is "in opposition to the values of higher education."
Deborah Ballard-Reisch, a tenured professor in WSU's Elliott School of Communication, submitted a letter to WSU president John Bardo this week saying she plans to retire July 1, the day the law is set to go into effect.
"Clear, open, critical discussion cannot take place in an environment of threat and fear," Ballard-Reisch wrote. "As someone who has experienced gun violence personally, I do not feel safe with guns in the classroom."
Under current law, public colleges in Kansas will have to open their campuses to concealed firearms starting this summer.  Read more here .
Join Engage ICT: Democracy on Tap for  a discussion of the ins and outs of running for public office. Knowing how it works can be useful, and it's a great way to gain a better understanding of how our government works.

Tuesday, June 13,  5:30 to 7:30 pm
Roxy's Downtown,  412 1/2 E Douglas

Follow the discussion and ask your questions with Engage ICT on Twitter. Panelists include:
  • Dr. Neal Allen, Wichita State University
  • Lamont Anderson, campaign manager
  • Tabitha Lehman, Sedgwick County Elections Office
  • Chris Pumpelly, campaign manager

Engage ICT events are always free and open to the public. Appetizers will be provided by Roxy's Downtown, with a cash bar available.

 

Thanks to  VolunteerKansas.org  for sponsoring this event.
KRIS KOBACH LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN FOR KS GOVERNOR
Bryan Lowry, The Kansas City Star
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach launched his campaign for Kansas governor on Thursday, decrying a culture of corruption in Topeka and vowing to crack down on illegal immigration.  His candidacy was condemned by the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, a national group that advocates for immigrant rights. 
"Kobach is an Architect of Hate and he's relied on hate and fear to financially profit as he advanced and defended policies aimed at severely restricting immigration in the United States. He is simply not fit to be governor of Kansas - or hold any public office," the group said in a statement.   Watch here .
KOBACH'S FUTURE
Patrick Lowry, The Hays Daily News
While we were not surprised to find
the lame duck governor still insisting trickle-down economics work, we  were taken aback somewhat that a gubernatorial candidate hoping to succeed Brownback would step forward in the same week with similar views.
Take aback, that is, until we heard the name: Current Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
In a speech to launch his campaign last week, Kobach asserted a wildly different assessment of the Legislature's override than did Moody's.
"Kansas doesn't have a revenue problem," he said. "Kansas has a spending problem."
If Kobach believes starving public schools, universities, mental health facilities, children's programs, law enforcement, retirees, the working poor and disabled, and roads and bridges of proper funding to fulfill even the barest of Topeka's obligations - then he is offering nothing different from Brownback.  Read more here .
KANCARE RENEWAL PUBLIC MEETINGS
SCHEDULED IN TOPEKA, WICHITA, OLATHE, DODGE CITY, HAYS AND PITTSBURGH
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has scheduled a series of public meetings for the discussion of the state's proposed renewal of the KanCare program and to provide input and ideas for changes.  Anyone may provide comment and input about the KanCare renewal at any time from June 14, 2017 until October 15, 2017 . The state intends to submit the renewal request on November 1, 2017.
There will be a second set of meetings in the fall of 2017 to collect formal comments about the waiver renewal application.  Information about KanCare is available for public review at the KanCare website here .
THE LEGISLATURE WEARS ITS COLORS TO HONOR LATE COLLEAGE PATSY TERRELL
The Hutchinson News
The most colorful desk in the Kansas House of Representatives Thursday was the late Rep. Patsy Terrell's.
Vases of flowers filled the desktop of the Hutchinson Democrat who died Wednesday from natural causes. Rep. Brenda Dietrich, R-Topeka, brought
20 brooches from home to the Statehouse, so members could wear
a pin in honor of Terrell, who couldn't resist a sparkly brooch. Even some men sported brooches on their suit lapels.  Read more here .
LOUDLIGHT: VETO OVERRIDE
Davis Hammet explains Kansas Veto Override and New Tax Policy.
Watch here.
ON 113TH  DAY, KANSAS LEGISLATIVE SESSION 2017 IT'S A WRAP!
Statehouse Blend, kcur.org
With school finance, taxes, and a budget passed, the KS Legislature adjourned. Just after the final yays, nays, and hurrahs, podcast host Sam Zeff hopped into the Topeka studio with Kansas News Service  reporters Celia Llopis-Jepsen and Jim McLean for a quick take on the legislative session that was.  Listen here .
HOW THE BATTLE AGAINST CONSERVATIVE
REPUBLICANS 
IN KANSAS COULD BECOME A NATIONAL PLAYBOOK
Aidan Quigley, Newsweek
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback's radical tax cuts in 2012 represented a conservative's dream. But for many in the state, the policy has been a nightmare. Amid a fiscal crisis, moderate Republicans, Democrats and even some conservatives teamed up to roll back some of Brownback's 2012 tax cuts, overriding the governor's veto.  "It's a win for bipartisanship, it's a win for good government, it's a win for the need to come to the table and draft compromises..." Watch here .
"THE KANSAS EXPERIMENT" IS A FAILURE
Mattie Parrigon, thenib.com
Last week, the Republican-controlled legislature defied its Republican Governor, Sam Brownback, to raise taxes. What's the matter with Kansas this time? 
Experience "The Kansas Experiment" in brilliant illustration!  View here .

BECOME A MEMBER OF WOMEN FOR KANSAS!   

Thanks to the efforts of hundreds of determined Women for Kansas, 2016 was the year we began turning the ship around. In the Senate, we picked up 10 moderate seats; in the House, we added 28. Not quite a legislative majority but changed enough so that Brownback and his lemmings can no longer stream roll over us.
 
Up next: two busy years planning for the 2018 gubernatorial/statewide races. With your support, Women for Kansas will again help lead the way.

Basic membership $60.00
Contributing member $150.00
Sustaining member $500.00
Student member $30.00

Mail your check to:
Women for Kansas
P.O. Box 8774
Wichita, Kansas 67208

Or charge your credit card via  PayPal
(You are not required to have a PayPal account).
Dues are based on a calendar year.

STATE GOVERNMENT: HOW TO GET INVOLVED IN KS
From tracking legislation, to contacting your state legislator or governor, to viewing campaign contributions, this article is
packed full of useful information EVERY  Kansan should know.
PDF of handout available here.
2017-2018 KANSAS ROSTER AND CONTACT INFORMATION

KS House of  Representatives Roster
Kansas Senate Roster

NOT SURE WHO REPRESENTS YOU?  WE CAN HELP

Find your U.S. State Senator
ARTISTS MARCH - WICHITA
Hosted by Emily Dulohery
Wed., June 14 at 6 PM - 9 PM
Downtown Wichita
We are organizing a worldwide ARTIST MARCH on June 14 and would love your support!

SIGNIFICANCE OF DATE:
Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the American flag - a work of art hand sewn by a woman and
a symbol of vigilance, perseverance, freedom and justice.
June 14 also happens to be the Electoral College President's birthday. What better way to celebrate that day, than with the "gift" of protest art.
MERCHANTS OF DOUBT
A documentary that looks at pundits-for-hire who present themselves as scientific authorities as they speak about topics like toxic chemicals, pharmaceuticals and climate change.
Watch here.
7 WAYS YOU CAN INFLUENCE CONGRESS
A lot of folks are concerned with the direction Congress is headed. Many who've never contacted their reps before are now engaging in the political process. Unfortunately, this means lawmakers are being inundated with TONS of messages. Wondering how your message can get through? Here are seven ways to make sure YOUR voice is heard.  Watch here .
VoteRunLead supports the aspirations of women who want to transform our country and democracy through their participation as leaders. 
VoteRunLead is proud to have trained over 15,000 women for political leadership.  Find other women in your area and get connected.  Visit  here .

They say they have voters' best interests in mind, how do they vote?

TRACK YOUR SENATORS' & REPRESENTATIVE'S VOTES BY EMAIL!
  • Key votes by your two Senators and U.S. Representative.
  • Links to send e-mail to your members of Congress using pre-addressed forms.
  • Upcoming votes for your review and a chance to offer e-mail input before they vote.
Use this weekly vote monitor to track the decisions made by your elected officials on key issues.  Sign up here .


SATURDAY, JUNE 17, 2017
8:00am Reg.;  9:00am walk
Downtown Overland Park
From Santa Fe Commons Park to the interurban ArtHouse (1/2 mile)

Votes have consequences, and those consequences impact all our lives. We talk the talk about getting involved and becoming engaged and paying attention. This is going to a be a fun, noisy, empowering walk, with teams raising money to raise hell in 2018.

Get your team together, fly your flag, and let's change Kansas.

Your donation, pledges, and participation is in support of the MainStream Coalition.

To register and to learn more, visit  Walk the Vote.
Follow Women for Kansas on Twitter  or Instagram,
@women_for_kansas. Like us on Facebook , and visit our website at www.WomenforKansas.org .
Stay In Touch

Facebook    Twitter