November 21 , 2017
SUMNER COUNTY WELCOMES DUANE GOOSSEN
Duane Goossen, former state budget director, spoke to a crowd of about 20 people in Caldwell, Kansas Nov. 16 about the state's need to regain financial stability in the future.
Goossen spoke at the event that was sponsored by Sumner County Women for Kansas and was held at Caldwell High School's auditorium.
"While lawmakers and Kansans who worked to repeal the tax experiment should be congratulated for turning the state's financial ship in a better direction, the damage from years of diminished revenue has been significant. Much work remains for Kansas lawmakers in the next legislative session," Goossen said in a recent blog post
At the meeting, Goossen spoke about the need for the state to replenish its emergency reserves, and the need to expand KanCare.
"KanCare expansion is one of many antidotes that would help to reverse the trends in local funding for the health care services that are essential for sustaining healthy Kansas communities," Goossen said.
Goossen  is the Kansas Center for Economic Growth's senior fellow. Before joining the Center, he was a seven-term member of the Kansas House of Representatives and a budget director for 12 years under three governors. He graduated from Bethel College in North Newton, Kan., and holds a master's degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
SPEAKER: MEDICAID EXPANSION COULD HELP STATE BUDGET
Christina Janney, Hays Post
Sheldon Weisgrau, director of the
 Health Reform Resource Project, a foundation-funded initiative to provide education and technical assistance in
the implementation of health reform
and the Affordable Care Act, was
invited to speak at the Hays Public Library by Women for Kansas.
About 150,000 people in Kansas make too little to qualify for the Affordable
Care Act, but do not qualify for
Medicaid, Weisgrau said.  He said expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act was supposed to
cover these people in
the gap, but Kansas has refused to expand Medicaid.
"This is not a controversial issue," he said. "It is not a partisan issue. There are some legislators who are honestly not representing their communities."  Read more here .

ANOTHER GOP SENATOR UNHAPPY WITH TAX BILL INDIVIDUAL MANDATE REPEAL
Joe Williams, Roll Call
Sen. Jerry Moran said Wednesday he was disappointed the Senate Finance Committee chose to try to repeal the individual mandate in the pending tax overhaul but said he would analyze it in the broader context of the bill.
"Because of the desire for a bipartisan tax bill, I wish we weren't doing the individual mandate. But we'll analyze it in a health care perspective as well," the Kansas Republican said. "It's just one more dimension."
Moran was one of several lawmakers who expressed concerns with a prior Republican bill to overhaul the 2010 health care law that also included a repeal of the requirement that individuals purchase an insurance plan or pay a yearly fee.  Read more here .
KANCARE RECIPIENTS RAISE QUESTIONS ABOUT OVERSIGHT, WORK REQUIREMENTS IN
KANCARE 2.0
Allison Kite, The Topeka Capital-Journal
Advocates and beneficiaries of Kansas' Medicaid program are pushing for more
oversight and questioning a new work requirement as Kansas officials submit the program for approval by the federal government for another five years.
At issue for beneficiaries and caretakers is whether KanCare 2.0 steps up oversight after they lodged complaints about limited communication from state officials and lackluster provider networks that leave them with few or no choices for their care. CMS criticized the program earlier this year for limited oversight, initially denying it a one-year extension. Beneficiaries and advocates have also questioned new mandatory work requirements that could be imposed on 12,000 of the state's 440,000 beneficiaries if the program is approved.  Read more here .
KANSAS DELEGATION BACKS
TAX REFORM
Allison Kite, The Topeka Capital-Journal
Posted in The Garden City Telegram
Supporters have promised tax cuts
will inspire economic growth and simplify the process of paying taxes. They initially promised revenue-neutral reform, but the Joint Committee on Taxation concluded the House plan could add $1.5 trillion to federal budget deficits over the next 10 years.
 "When congressmen, like Chris Collins from New York, admit the intentional, cruel and greedy truth about this tax bill is that House Republicans must pass it or face backlash from their wealthy donors, our country is facing a moral crisis," said Lisa Ochs, president of AFT-Kansas. "Every member of Congress who supports this tax scam is complicit in the destruction of working Americans."
Read more here.
ON KANSAS-STYLE TAX CUTS, PLEASE DON'T MAKE US SAY WE TOLD YOU SO, SENATORS
The Kansas City Star Editorial Board,
The Kansas City Star
Republicans were in quite a festive, pre-holiday party mood on the House floor Thursday, jubilant at passing a Kansas-style tax  that would primarily benefit the wealthy.
As we keep pointing out, the House bill, like its evil twin in our own backyard, would chop the income tax rate for top earners, and slash the top rate for "pass-through" income earned by them, too.
Newsflash from the Heartland: This won't end well, GOP.
Just as in Kansas, Republicans argue that both the House and Senate bills are guaranteed to boost wages, create jobs and goose the economy. Senators, please don't make us say we told you so.  Read more here .
SECRET KANSAS MUST YIELD TO TRANSPARENCY, OPENNESS
The Kansas City Editorial Board,
The Kansas City Star
Kansans of all political persuasions
were stunned and saddened this week following the Star's stories on the secrecy surrounding the state's government.
Calmly, methodically, factually, the newspaper's reporters provided irrefutable evidence that some state agencies put their own interests above the 
public's. From a child welfare agency to police stations and the state Capitol, an us-vs.-them culture pervades the state, making Kansas one of the most secret places in the nation. The costs are enormous. Secrecy, the Star found, could cost lives. And money. And efficiency. And fairness. And hurts democracy.
The Legislature must address secrecy this year - firmly, openly, aggressively. Promises aren't enough.
And every candidate for office in 2018 should be asked about secrecy in the state, and be held to specific recommendations for improvement. "No comment" will not suffice.  The sun must shine in Kansas. It has been far too dark, for far too long.  Read more here .
ANOTHER BROWNBACK BUDGET?
Marvin Hawver, The Emporia Gazette
Remember when we were all figuring that Gov. Sam Brownback would be confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Ambassador for International Religious Freedom by Thanksgiving?
Well, that's not happening, we're told, and there is still no hard date set for a vote by the Senate that would hand him the ambassador post and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer the new business cards with the word "governor" printed in what appears to be gold on them.
If Brownback is still here on Jan. 8 and delivers his State of the State address, then that's what the Legislature works from, the second-year tune-ups that Brownback proposes for the remainder of this fiscal year and next when he won't be here.
That leaves Colyer with two choices: Either come up with his own budget that the Legislature will have little time to consider, or back the budget of the guy who has left the state.  Read more here .
LET'S HOPE VOW FOR OPENNESS
IS MORE THAN WORDS
The Manhattan Mercury
It's encouraging to read that the incoming governor and legislators from around Kansas want to reverse a trend toward darkness in state and local government.
Here's hoping that really happens.
The Kansas City Star for the past week has published an excellent series showing the secrecy with which our state government operates. The examples are many: legislation passed without any hearings and no information about who sponsored it; state employees ordered to shred their own notes to avoid public disclosure; a state Department of Transportation spokesperson fired for answering questions about the state budget truthfully.
"Transparency is absolutely critical to increase Kansans' confidence in government. I look forward to taking steps to increase transparency and improve public trust when I become governor," Colyer said in a statement.
All of that is excellent. Let's hope it's more than words.
Read more here.
KOBACH PANEL ACCUSED OF TARGETING MINORITY VOTERS SAYS IT'S NOT HIDING
ANYTHING BECAUSE IT'S NOT DOING MUCH WORK
Celeste Katz, Newsweek
Justice Department lawyers say the federal "voter fraud" commission member who's suing over the panel's secrecy has nothing to worry about-because the commission isn't doing much work.
Dunlap, a Democrat, said that even though he's a member, no one will tell him what background work the panel is doing or even give him a date for the next meeting, forcing him to go to court on November 9 to demand information.  Instead of getting answers as a result of that lawsuit, Dunlap said he got attacked-by other panel members-for even trying to get information. That sent him back to federal court Thursday to file a new motion asking a judge to speed up the case.
"If they are so adamant [as] to be reduced to name-calling, then maybe there's something that the American people ought to know about what they're doing," he said. "If they think they're getting under my skin, they need to work on something different. This is our right to vote."
Read more here.

LETTER: WAS KOBACH TV AD A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT?
Ken Softly, Topeka, Published at cjonline.com
I recently saw Secretary of State Kris Kobach on local TV urging Kansans to vote in the local elections. I immediately wondered if the message qualified as a public service announcement or if it had been paid for by the secretary of state's office.
In either case, it's not a stretch to assume that its primary purpose was to keep Kobach's image in front of the public as his gubernatorial race proceeds to next year's state elections.  There's also touch of hypocrisy as the nationwide
King of Voter Suppression promotes voter participation.
SUSAN WAGLE IS WAY OFF BASE WHEN IT COMES TO KANSAS SCHOOL FUNDING
The Kansas City Editorial Board,
The Kansas City Star
What's Susan Wagle thinking these days?
The president of the Kansas Senate declared the other day that the state Supreme Court had deliberately timed an October school-finance order to help elect a Democratic governor next year.
What Wagle is up to is an ongoing conservative crusade to build support for a favored cause: a constitutional amendment aimed at ending the requirement that the Legislature provide "suitable" school funding. That means, apparently, that she prefers a Constitution that calls for "ill-suited" education appropriations.
Wagle told her audience that the court's latest ruling is "absolutely unaffordable" and even unobtainable. To be sure, the cost could be as much as $600 million, on top of the $485 million over two years that lawmakers just tossed into the education kitty at the court's behest.
But the numbers don't lie: Kansas has been underfunding its schools for years.  Read more here .
TIME FOR A REBOOT ON SCHOOL FUNDING
Michael Smith, The Wichita Eagle
The Kansas Supreme Court has again ruled the state's school funding system unconstitutional. So, how much money
 will the Legislature have to throw at the problem to get the Court to go away?
The above question, commonly asked by legislators and journalists alike, is the wrong way to frame the issue-and that is part of the problem.
Legislators would get a lot further if they asked the questions posed in the rulings themselves: How much funding is required to achieve both adequacy, and equity, in public education throughout Kansas?
Time for a reboot. Read more here .
KANSAS COMMUNITY COLLEGES RAISE CONCERNS ABOUT GOP FEDERAL TAX OVERHAUL    
Peter Hancock, LJWorld.com
Community college officials in Kansas have begun sounding alarm bells about the potential impact of federal tax changes now being considered in Congress.  "While tax reform is desirable, the country cannot afford to make financing community colleges more difficult," Barwick said, noting that by some estimates, the bill being considered in the House would add $65 billion nationally to the cost of college education over the next decade.  Read more here.
SEN. MORAN SENDS OPEN LETTER TO FARMER AND RANCHER ORGANIZATIONS REGARDING THE THREAT OF NAFTA WITHDRAWAL
Senator-Moran-Speaking-3.jpg
Tax reform is critical to our nation. But we can't afford to let the debate over taxes take our attention away from simultaneously protecting the ability of farmers and ranchers to continue to export food and fiber across the globe. The news that the Trans-Pacific Partnership will move forward without U.S. involvement heightens the consequences of NAFTA withdrawal. With the leadership of agricultural organizations, we can help rally farmers and ranchers to speak up about the importance of trade to the future of a livelihood in agriculture. Tough negotiations on improvements - yes; withdrawal from NAFTA - no.
Listen here.
KANSAS NEEDS MORE THAN A FEW GOOD WOMEN - TO RUN FOR STATEWIDE OFFICE
The Kansas City Editorial Board,
The Kansas City Star
For nearly half a century, a woman held at least one statewide political office in Kansas.  Sadly, the women-in-office streak came to an end in 2015. In January of that year, all eight statewide elected positions - two U.S. senators, the governor and lieutentant governor, attorney general, treasurer, secretary of state, and insurance commissioner - were once again held exclusively by men.  We urge both major parties to work harder to find qualified statewide candidates who are women.  And voters should demand that women find a place on the ballot.  Read more here .
GOVERNING MAGAZINE HONORS TWO KS LAWMAKERS
Stephen Koranda, KPR
Governing Magazine is including two Kansas lawmakers in its list of Public Officials of the Year for 2017.
Governing is honoring nine public officials nationwide, including Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, a Republican, and House Democratic Leader Jim Ward.
The legislative session tied for the longest in state history and ended with lawmakers overriding Brownback's veto. Governing credits Ward and Denning for working across the aisle to get the needed votes.  Read more here .
WANT TO PROTEST AT THE KANSAS CAPITOL? THAT WILL SOON COST YOU UP TO $500
Bryan Lowry, The Kansas City Star
Activist groups planning to hold protests at the Kansas Capitol next year could be required to pay hundreds of dollars.
Davis Hammet, a Topeka activist, discovered that Kansas had increased the cost of holding a rally in the Capitol while trying Thursday to finalize a booking of the Capitol rotunda for a protest in January. He was told it would cost $500.  Rep. Brett Parker called the fee increase unacceptable.
Parker said that the groups that will be adversely impacted will be church groups and organizations that advocate for the disabled, while "groups that are swimming in money have any number of ways of exercising their influence in that building."  Read more here .
SEE WHAT YOU'VE DONE!
Your belief in W4K and the work we do to elect and keep moderates in Topeka has created  14 W4K Chapters across the state!  Thousands of moderate voters thank you.  As you know, 2018 is a momentous election year, and we're looking for committed W4K members. 

If you're interested in being involved, contact a Chapter Leader. A complete list of Chapter Leaders and their contact information is available here.

If you're interested in forming a Chapter, contact Deanna Zitterkopf at beowulfprof@cox.net .

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: planning for the 2018 gubernatorial/statewide races.

With your support, Women for Kansas will again help lead the way.

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

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

Or charge your credit card via  PayPal
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FYI: If your dues exceed $75,
we'll send tax-deductible receipt
for the difference.
DON'T BE FOOLED BY AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY'S KANSAS TAX-CUT FLIERS
The Kansas City Editorial Board, The Kansas City Star
Americans for Prosperity, the anti-tax, Koch Brothers-funded political group, is carpet-bombing Kansas mailboxes with campaign-style fliers to discredit lawmakers who voted for tax increases this year.  But the conservative organization has it wrong.
The lawmakers in their sights - about 60 across the state - are heroes. They should be honored for having the political fortitude to do the right thing.
Americans for Prosperity, though, sees things as Brownback does: Any tax increase is evil. Any tax increase will drive away small businesses.  This is misleading malarkey.  Read more here .
VoteRunLead supports the aspirations of women who want to transform our country and democracy through their participation as leaders.  Visit  here .
THE NIGHT OF TERROR: 100 YEARS AGO TODAY, WOMEN WERE BEATEN AND TORTURED FOR THE RIGHT TO VOTE
Katherine, A Mighty Girl
When we tell our children about the fight for women's suffrage in America, we often tell a sanitized version of the story. We talk about letter-writing campaigns, activist conferences, and stirring speeches - and occasionally, we mention defiant suffragists being hauled to jail. But we often shy away from the darker truths about the sacrifices and suffering many suffragists had to endure in the fight for women's right to vote.
November 14 marked the 100th anniversary of one especially notorious event, the "
Night of Terror," when 33 suffragists from the National Women's Party, who had been arrested for protesting outside of the White House, were brutally beaten and tortured at the Occoquan Workhouse.  Read more here .
"The practice of democracy is not passed down  through the gene pool.
It must be taught  and learned anew by each generation of citizens."

Visit iCivics.org to learn more.
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
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