October 10 , 2017
5 REASONS THE KS SUPREME COURT FOUND THE STATE'S SCHOOL FUNDING UNCONSTITUTIONAL
Celia Llopis-Jepsen, KCUR 89.3
Last week the state lost again at the Kansas Supreme Court, which unanimously ruled that Kansas is underfunding its pubic schools, with repercussions for academically struggling children across the state - and especially for students and taxpayers who live in resource-poor school districts. 
Because it's just the latest in a string of similar decisions, the ruling means Kansas, in the eyes of its courts, has been unconstitutionally funding public schools for most of the past decade and a half.
Here are five key messages the justices had for the Legislature and the state of Kansas in the decision.
Read more here.
EDITORIAL: CONSEQUENCES OF THE PAST FIVE YEARS
The Capital-Journal Editorial Board, cjonline.com
As lawmakers struggle to figure out
 how they'll respond to the Kansas Supreme Court's recent ruling that education funding remains inadequate and inequitable in the state, it's hard to look back upon the past five years without feeling a tremendous sense of waste.
Imagine if Gov. Sam Brownback's 2012 tax cuts had never been implemented. 
Every year, the Legislature scrambled to address huge shortfalls. Every year, we saw more substantial cuts. And every year, the cuts remained in place. Meanwhile, our once-healthy reserves were totally depleted.
Read more here .
NO OPTIONS SHOULD BE RULED OUT IN SCHOOL FUNDING DILEMMA
Eagle Editorial Board, The Wichita Eagle
Statehouse Republicans quickly ruled out another tax increase as part of another attempted fix for Kansas'
school funding formula.
They should have stepped back and taken a deep breath. We believe all avenues should be considered before any are rejected.
That shouldn't be interpreted as an endorsement of a tax increase, simply acknowledgment that legislators face a complex problem.
More strides are needed now. Lawmakers know there are few ways for finding the hundreds of millions expected to be part of a solution.
No options should be off the table.  Read more here .
KS GOVERNOR'S RACE DRAWS A MENAGERIE OF OLD PROS, ENTREPRENEUERS AND KIDS
Tim Carpenter, cjonline.com
The 18-and-counting field of candidates for Kansas governor features a quartet of high school students, a gaggle of guys with deep public service and an entrant extolling absence of government experience as virtue.
Not even gubernatorial aspirants can keep track of the expanding roster of players in the wide-open contest.
Candidates capable of winning a party nomination are trying to build a base of support that differentiates themselves among rivals without alienating natural allies.
The filing deadline for Republican and Democratic candidates is June 1, but candidates will likely keep looking over their shoulder for late arrivals.
Read more here.
TAX CUTS, SOLD AS FUEL FOR GROWTH, WIDEN GAP BETWEEN RICH AND POOR
Eduardo Porter, The New York Times
To many economists, Mr. Laffer's basic argument that high taxes would at some point discourage effort and
reduce growth made sense: Why work or invest more if the government will keep almost all the fruits of your troubles?
It is unclear whether reality ever followed Mr. Laffer's prescription. "In 1986 we dropped the top income tax rate from 50 to 28 percent and the corporate tax rate from 46 to 34 percent," said Bruce Bartlett, a policy adviser in the administration of President Ronald Reagan. "It's hard to imagine a bigger increase in incentives than that, and I can't remember any big boost to growth."
Read more here .
KANSAS INCOME TAX REVENUE COMES IN AHEAD OF ESTIMATES, 2016 COLLECTIONS
Allison Kite, cjonline.com
Kansas income tax collections are ahead of estimates by 7.2 percent for the first fiscal quarter under a new income tax increase, the Kansas Department of Revenue announced Thursday.  Income tax collections also beat estimates for the month of September. The state collected $346.6 million in September, putting it 15.7 percent ahead of estimates and 24.6 percent ahead of September 2016 collections.  Lawmakers overrode Gov. Sam Brownback's veto in June to roll back his controversial income tax cuts.
Read more here.
GINSBURG SLAPS GORSUCH IN GERRYMANDERING CASE
Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is bent with age, can sometimes look disengaged or even sleepy during arguments, and she had that droopy look today as well. But, in this moment, she heard Gorsuch very clearly, and she didn't even raise her head before offering a brisk and convincing dismissal. In her still Brooklyn-flecked drawl, she grumbled, "Where did 'one person, one vote' come from?" There might have been an audible woo that echoed through the courtroom. (Ginsburg's comment seemed to silence Gorsuch for the rest of the arguments.)
In one cutting remark, Ginsburg summed up how Gorsuch's patronizing lecture omitted some of the Court's most important precedents, and Smith gratefully followed up on it: "That's what Reynolds v. Sims and Baker v. Carr did, and a number of other cases that have followed along since." In these cases, from the early nineteen-sixties, the Court established that the Justices, via the First and Fourteenth Amendments, very much had the right to tell states how to run their elections.
In short, Ginsburg was saying to Gorsuch that he and his allies might control the future of the Supreme Court, but she wasn't going to let them rewrite the history of it-at least not without a fight.  Read more here .
ACLU COMES TO KANSAS TO KICK OFF NATIONAL PUSH TO EXPAND VOTING RIGHTS
Stephen Koranda, HPPR
The American Civil Liberties Union launched a national voting rights campaign during a Sunday night event in Lawrence that was broadcast online throughout the country. It was the start of a grassroots effort, called Let People Vote, which the ACLU says is a chance to go on the offensive.
Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project, said in recent years the group has filed lawsuits in response to new voting laws. 
"Like a game of whack-a-mole, trying to stop each one of these laws every time that they emerge," he said. "All that is, at the end of the day, is playing defense. We have to go on offense."  Read more here .
PIVOT POINT: IF ONLY THERE WERE COMMON GROUND WITH ACLU, KRIS KOBACH
Kirk Seminoff, The Wichita Eagle
Kris Kobach and the American Civil Liberties Union are frequent sparring partners in court, which made the ACLU's kickoff of a national "Let People Vote" campaign Sunday in Lawrence that much more interesting.
The ACLU arrived in the state with the nation's toughest registration laws, pushed through by Kobach's secretary of state's office, and said it would go state by state to make it easier for Americans to register.
"This event is an important way of kicking off the national movement to defend voting rights in a place where it has been most under attack for the last six years," said Micah Kubic, Kansas director for the ACLU.  Read more here.
KANSAS GOVERNOR CANDIDATES SPLIT ON ORDER PROTECTING LGBT WORKERS
Jonathan Shorman, The Wichita Eagle
Kansas candidates for governor are split on bringing back an order protecting gay and lesbian state employees from discrimination.
Gov. Sam Brownback in 2015 rescinded an executive order that barred discrimination against state employees on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.
On the Republican side, Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer and Ed O'Malley responded.
None of the three men said they would reinstate the order, although Colyer didn't answer the question.
On the Democratic side, House Minority Leader Jim Ward and former Wichita mayor Carl Brewer responded. Both said they would reinstate the order.  Read more here.
CHILDREN'S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM LAPSE JEOPARDIZES COVERAGE FOR 79,000 KANSAS KIDS
Katie Moore, cjonline.com
Health insurance for nearly 80,000 children in Kansas is in jeopardy after Congress failed to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program by the end of September.
"I'm so disappointed that other things took priority and I don't think they should over kids," said Topeka pediatrician Dennis Cooley.
Annie McKay, president and CEO of Kansas Action for Children, agrees.  "If Congress does not act quickly to reauthorize CHIP, we will jeopardize healthy outcomes for our children and create additional pressure for Kansas' already fragile budget," McKay said. "Bottom line - Kansas families will be forced to make an impossible choice: pay for fewer benefits at a cost they can't afford or go without coverage for their children. The research is clear that when kids are covered, they are typically healthier; and when they're healthier, they perform better in school; and kids who do well in school are more likely to grow up to be healthier adults."  Read more here .
EARLY TESTING FOR USD 259 CANIDATES AT PUBLIC FORUM
Ashonti Ford, KSN.com
The group, Women for Kansas, hosted an open forum for USD 259 school board candidates on Saturday. The candidates showed up prepared to explain what could make them the candidate that gets your vote in the upcoming election.
Main topics of the forum included school policies, transparency, parent engagement & curriculum.  Watch here .
ANALYSIS: POLITICS WILL HINDER WORK ON KANSAS SCHOOLS PLAN
John Hanna, Miami Herald
Finding a solution that satisfies the court next year will force the Republican-controlled Legislature and soon-to-be GOP Gov. Jeff Colyer to consider a second big tax increase in as many years. An alternative would be big spending cuts in other parts of state government, which many lawmakers find equally unpalatable.  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  13 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
(You are not required to have a PayPal account).

FYI: If your dues exceed $75,
we'll send tax-deductible receipt
for the difference.
KRIS KOBACH PROPOSED WEAKENING KEY FEDERAL VOTING PROTECTIONS IN TRUMP MEETING
Sam Levine, Huffington Post
The disclosure is significant because Kobach is leading a probe convened to investigate voter fraud. Despite Kobach's history of exaggerating the pervasiveness of voter fraud and pushing restrictive voting policies in Kansas, the panel has pledged to be neutral. A document detailing Kobach's intention will lend fuel to critics who say the probe is the beginning of an effort to implement more restrictive voting policies. "We are grateful that the Court ultimately rejected Mr. Kobach's months-long efforts to hide this information from the public," Orion Danjuma, an attorney for the ACLU, said in a statement.
Watch here .
LEAGUE DAY 2017!
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21
9:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
June's Northland Event Space
614 Pottawatomie Street,  Leavenworth

Hosted by the League of Women Voters of Leavenworth

Register Now for League Day 2017 and Save $5.00!
Advance registration of $30.00 is available until Oct. 19.
Registration after October 19 is $35.00.

Having a head count early is tremendously helpful.  This allows us to better plan the event to be the best experience it can be  (food, seating, etc.).   Registration fee includes continental breakfast at 9:00 am and lunch. Please include gluten-free or vegetarian preference on the online registration form.

The state water study committee
will meet from 8:45 to 9:15 am,
before the day's events.

Join LWV Kansas for the annual gathering of nine local Leagues.
As always, we'll get the early scoop on legislative priorities and swap ideas among local Leagues.

FEATURED SPEAKERS:
  1. Davis Hammet of Loud Light, Increasing youth civic participation in Kansas
  2. Micah Kubic of the ACLU of Kansas, follow up to Democracy Tomorrow (see above)
  3. Panel: "What I Wish I Knew Before I Ran for Office"
Follow the LWV KS Facebook event page where you can ask questions or connect with other attendees.
VoteRunLead supports the aspirations of women who want to transform our country and democracy through their participation as leaders.  Visit  here .
WICHITA WOMEN'S FORUM with LWV & Amigas de Wichita

Sunday, November 5, 1:00 pm
Manhattan Fire Station
Corner of Kimball and Denison

Leading the formation:  Rep. Valdenia Winn, PhD  34th District, Wyandotte County. Becky Fast, President of the Roeland Park City Council. Gail James, PhD, retired from KU, and an active advocate for women's rights.

QUESTIONS? Contact Rep. Valdenia Winn at vwinn1236@att.net.
"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
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 .


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.
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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