November 7 , 2017
EMPOWERING WOMEN MORE THAN A CENTURY
The Cowley Courier Traveler
Women for Kansas, Cowley County (W4K-CC) celebrates its 2nd anniversary this fall. Formed in 2015 as a local chapter of the non-partisan Women for Kansas organization. W4K-CC joins 13 other chapters across the state striving to educate and energize Kansans to become active and informed voters.
Women for Kansas was established in Wichita in April of 2013 by a group of concerned women who, inspired by the  Suffragists and their march on Washington 100 years  earlier, determined that grassroots action was needed to change politicians and policies in Topeka that were forcing inequality and economic hardship on the state.
They organized a rousing 2014 convention in Wichita that brought together hundreds of women, invigorating a movement of "taking back Kansas."
To become a member of Women for Kansas or find more information about the statewide organization, visit
www.WomenforKansas.org. Read full article here.
WOMEN FOR KANSAS-COWLEY COUNTY TO HOST FIRST BOOK DISCUSSION NOVEMBER 11
The Cowley Courier Traveler
Women for Kansas-Cowley County
(W4K-CC) will hold its Nov. meet-up
from 10:30 a.m. to noon, on Nov. 11 at the Community Council Room at Winfield City Hall, 200 E. Ninth Ave.
The event is free and open to the public.
This month, W4K-CC is host to its first book group to discuss Timothy Snyder's " On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century." The discussion will be facilitated by W4K-CC co-leader Tracy Muller and will include coffee and treats.
"We plan on making the guided discussion informative and useful, even for people who haven't read the book," Muller said. "We also hope to make the W4K-CC book group a recurring feature during our programming year. It's a fun, interactive way to open a dialogue about the changing political landscape and the role we, as citizens, play in it." 
Women for Kansas-Cowley County meets on the second Saturday of each month. All are welcome.
For more information about this event or W4K-Cowley County,  contact Pam Moreno, 620-262-2326, or Tracy Muller,  620-307-6290, or email
KANSAS STILL HAS A BUDGET GAP
Duane Goossen, Kansas Center for Economic Growth
Kansas lawmakers took a giant step toward financial health in June! By overriding Gov. Brownback's tax bill veto, a bipartisan supermajority dramatically reduced the structural budget deficit in the state's general fund. But much more work must be done before Kansas finances recover from the disastrous and unaffordable income tax cuts of 2012.
The structural budget gap that remains will not heal on its own. Without further action to improve state general fund revenue, Kansas will continue to heavily use highway funds for other purposes and function with little financial flexibility. Reserves that were used up during the tax experiment have not been replenished, and money borrowed must now be repaid.
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.  Read more here .
LEGISLATIVE LOOK: AREA LAWMAKERS PREVIEW UPCOMING SESSION
Kristina Jackson, The Mercury
Even as revenues are looking up, Kansas budget problems will continue to affect policy into the next session, according to state legislators who spoke in Manhattan Saturday morning.
Five area politicians spoke at an event hosted by the League of Women Voters Saturday. Kansas House members Tom Phillips, Sydney Carlin, Ron Highland and Susie Swanson and Kansas Sen. Tom Hawk told those gathered at the Meadowlark Hills Community Room that the state government will still have to address funding issues for several areas, from schools to health care and more.
"We made good progress," Phillips said. "There are still challenges ahead of us we aware of and we know we're going to have to tackle as a state."  Read more here .
EDITORIAL: BEGINNING OF OUR STATE'S RECOVERY
The Capital-Journal Editorial Board, cjonline.com
Kansas is slowly emerging from the perpetual fiscal slump that has beggared our state government for the past four years. At this time last year, Kansas faced a $345 million budget shortfall, along with a projected $582 million shortfall in the following year. In 2016, every month brought alarming news of surging shortfalls and missed revenue estimates, and incoming lawmakers knew they would have to make drastic changes to move the state back toward something resembling a sustainable fiscal policy.
After the 2012 tax cuts were fully implemented, the state's income tax receipts collapsed by more than $700 million .
Read more here.
TALK OF AMENDING THE KANSAS CONSTITUTION'S SCHOOL
FUNDING REQUIREMENT IS POLITICAL HOT AIR
The Kansas City Editorial Board,
The Kansas City Star
First, conservatives in Kansas who were upset about court orders requiring lawmakers to spend millions more on public schools railed   against "activist judges."  Then they took dead aim at the state Supreme Court, staging a multimillion-dollar campaign last year aimed at removing five judges.  
With those efforts failing to produce the desired results, the focus now has shifted to rewriting the Kansas Constitution.  Conservatives have long maintained the courts had no business demanding that more money be spent on public schools.  But the simple fact is that the state Legislature has failed for years to adequately fund schools, and dozens of lawmakers in Topeka understand that.
In other words, we're way short of where the Legislature itself has determined we need to be.
That's why all this talk about rewriting the state constitution is pure silliness.  Read more here .
TAX INCREASE FOR SCHOOLS INEVITABLE
Davis Merritt, The Wichita Eagle
The Kansas Policy Institute, Charles
Koch's state lobbying arm, has issued its marching orders to legislators as they
prep for perhaps the toughest and most significant session in the state's history.
Unfortunately, if predictably, the command is, "To the rear, march."  The KPI is associated with the ultra-conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, which churns out cookie-cutter "model" legislation and rewards local officials and legislators with trips to nice places where they are propagandized in the philosophies of the far-right, small-government establishment.
That should be clear enough. Legislators must understand, even if KPI doesn't, that evasion of constitutional responsibility is no longer an option, and that continued obeisance to KPI's cut-taxes, shrink-government mantra would be a very poor choice.  Read more here .
CROSSCHECK PROGRAM TOUTED BY KOBACH UNDERFIRE FOR INACCURACIES
Peter Hancock, LJWorld.com
A computer database system that
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach frequently touts as a tool to prevent voter fraud is now the subject of a federal lawsuit and a new academic study that says it is wrong most of the time.
The system, known as Crosscheck, was developed in Kansas in 2005, five years before Kobach was elected. But its use by other states has grown rapidly under Kobach's administration, and by 2016, 30 states were reported to be using it.
The idea is to identify duplicate registrations and prevent people from "double voting" - that is, casting ballots in more than one location. But a new study  by researchers from Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, Yale Law School and Microsoft Research said Crosscheck's protocols could result in potentially thousands of legitimate voters being wrongly purged from the voting rolls Read more here .
VOTING ACCESS IS UNDER ATTACK AS THE COUNTDOWN TO ELECTION DAY 2018 BEGINS
Tony Pugh, The Olympian
Not since the death of poll taxes and literacy tests in the 1960s has access to the ballot box been so under siege. And as the march toward Election Day 2018 begins, the forces that helped abolish those voting obstacles appear to be moving in the opposite direction.
"There appears to be an almost coordinated campaign unfolding across the country to institute voting suppression measures at the local and state level," said Kristen Clarke, executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. "Whether it's hostility, recalcitrance or recklessness, sadly, we're seeing many efforts to turn back the clock on the voting rights of ordinary Americans."
Read more here.
IMPACT OF GERRYMANDERING
ON THE ELECTION PROCESS
Great attendance for the candidate  forum featuring BOE candidates at the Meridian Center! Thanks to all who came out. Being well-informed on issues is our
strength as a community.
Looking ahead, we are very pleased to have secured Dr. Russell Arben Fox as our guest presenter,

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16TH,  7:00PM
Newton Trinity Heights, 1200 Boyd, Newton
(directly across 12th Street from the high school)

You may be familiar with Dr. Fox of Friends University's Political Science Dept. He is a frequent contributor to political articles in the Eagle and for interviews on KWCH news. His topic for us will be the impact of gerrymandering on the election process, an issue that may not be well-understood by everyone.  THIS IS NOT LIMITED TO WOMEN. ALL ARE ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND.

If you have or know students studying history and government, please encourage them to attend.  If you are from out of town and need further directions, please contact a member of our steering committee.
Gini Johnson - johnsongini@hotmail.com
Virginia Benninghoff - rvbenn@prodigy.net
Evelyn Adams - ejadams54@hotmail.com
Mary Collier - mcolliersales@gmail.com
SUMNER COUNTY WOMEN FOR KANSAS TO HOST FORMER STATE BUDGET DIRECTOR AT MEETING IN CALDWELL
Sumner News Cow
Sumner County Women for Kansas will host Duane Goossen, former state budget director, at a meeting at 7:00 p.m., November 16 at Caldwell High School auditorium. The public is invited to attend the meeting which is open to everyone.  Goossen will speak on "The Road Ahead to Recovery," at the meeting. 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.  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 .
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ECONOMY IN KANSAS?
Jeremy Hobson, Here & Now
Some critics say the GOP plan echoes the tax cut experiment implemented by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback in 2012. According to Brownback, the so-called Kansas experiment was supposed to be a "shot of adrenaline" to the state's economy by dramatically cutting income taxes and eliminating "pass-through" small business taxes.
But growth stalled, revenue fell and infrastructure and education services suffered. Now, the state faces a budget shortfall of more than $800 million.
Listen here .

A KANSAS REPUBLICAN SAYS 'RECKLESS' STATE TAX CUTS OFFER WARNING FOR U.S.
Jeremy Hobson, Here & Now
When Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback passed massive tax cuts in 2012, the hope was to accelerate the state's languid economy. A year later, growth slowed and the state deficit shot up.
Kansas GOP lawmaker Melissa Rooker helped lead the rollback of the tax plan in 2016, calling it "reckless fiscal management." Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson speaks with Rooker about that effort and lessons learned from the Kansas tax experiment.  Listen   here .
KANSAS TAXES NEARLY $32 MILLION MORE THAN EXPECTED IN OCTOBER
Associated Press, Kansas Public Radio
Kansas is reporting that it collected nearly $32 million more in taxes than anticipated in October. It was the fifth consecutive month tax collections exceeded expectations. The Department of Revenue reported Wednesday that state took in nearly $501 million in taxes last month. Its official forecast predicted $469 million. The surplus was 6.8 percent. Since the current budget year began in July, tax collections are $105 million ahead of expectations, or 5.5 percent. State officials and economists planned to issue a new fiscal forecast Thursday. The current one was drafted in April. Lawmakers increased individual income taxes earlier this year to help balance the state budget. Those collections are beating projections.  Revenue Secretary Sam Williams said better-than expected sales and corporate income tax collections show the state's economy is improving.
KANSAS DEMOCRATIC GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES HUNGRY FOR LOWER SALES TAX ON FOOD
Tim Carpenter, cjonline.com
The first joint campaign appearance by all five Democratic candidates for governor Monday night produced unflattering reviews of Kansas' assessment of a 6.5 percent sales tax on food purchases.
Wichita Rep. Jim Ward, Ellsworth County farmer Josh Svaty and former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer said the state had to gradually wean itself off $350 million raised annually by the sales tax on food.
"We pay the highest sales tax on food in the country," said Ward, who serves as the top Democrat in the Kansas House. "Mississippi is lower than we are, and that's not good. It's a horrible tax."
Read more 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: 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
(You are not required to have a PayPal account).

FYI: If your dues exceed $75,
we'll send tax-deductible receipt
for the difference.
VoteRunLead supports the aspirations of women who want to transform our country and democracy through their participation as leaders.  Visit  here .
JOIN US IN NEWTON
TUES., NOVEMBER 7,  6:30 PM
Kauffman Museum - Bethel College
300 E. 27th North Newton

The Alliance for  a Healthy Kansas will
be hosting  an Expand KanCare community event in North Newton -- 
and we want you to be there!

Expanding KanCare is crucial
to our state's economic future
and will help over 150,00 Kansans gain access to health care.

Join us as we share the next steps we're taking to making it happen.

Will you join us on Tuesday,
November 7th at 6:30pm
in North Newton?
WHAT NOW? KS POLITICS IN 2018: A MAINSTREAM FORUM

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
 Program 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Sylvester Powell Community Center
5960 Dearborn St., Ste 213,  Mission, KS

Ticket information available here.
Free and open to the public
Speakers TBA

Please attend and join the discussion by bringing your questions. There is much work to be done in 2018, let's be prepared!  The forum will be live-streamed. If you are unable to attend, please use the live-stream button on our homepage to watch and listen live.
ENGAGE ICT: ELECTED OFFICIALS TRIVIA
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 5:30
Roxy's Downtown
412 E. Douglas Ave., Wichita

Think you know all of the people who represent you at the different levels government?
Come to Engage ICT: Democracy on Tap and let us challenge you. We'll have a special event on November 14 to celebrate local elections with some trivia.

There will be food and drinks as usual, but also some prizes for our trivia winners from local businesses like The Workroom and Bella Luz.

Future Topics include:
December: Sequoia Roots: How Your (Small) Actions Hold Others Up.
For information about more Engage ICT events, visit the website at www.kmuw.org/topic/engage-ict.
"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.


FARM & FOOD CONFERENCE
November 17 - 18, 2017
Four Points Sheraton,  Manhattan
This year's theme,
"Driving the Change that Matters: Practical and Political Solutions to our Farm  and Food Future ". 

To learn more about becoming a sponsor, registering, or scholarships at this year's conference visit
kansasruralcenter.org  or call
Natalie Fullerton at 866-579-5469 Extension 701 or email info@kansasruralcenter.org.
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

This outrageous conduct of politicians.
You are their boss and we as a people are completely capable of retaking control  of our civic life.  Vote Smart has made a great start. We track all of their votes, words, bios, ratings, money and issue positions in easy to use systems.
Visit website  or call  888-VOTESMART .
Follow Women for Kansas on Twitter  or Instagram,
@women_for_kansas. Like us on Facebook , and visit our website at www.WomenforKansas.org .
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