October 17 , 2017
KS SCHOOL FUNDING CRISIS WON'T BE SOLVED BY LEGISLATORS' BELLYACHING AND THREATS
The Kansas City Star Editorial Board,  The Kansas City Star
Another unanimous Kansas Supreme Court ruling on school funding has some lawmakers screaming about a court run amok. Once again, they're threatening a "constitutional crisis," meaning they would defy the court and refuse to spend the additional dollars the judges ordered.  State Sen. Steve Fitzgerald, a Leavenworth Republican, brandished raw childishness about all this, saying he hopes the state, under the leadership of soon-to-be-governor Jeff Colyer, finds a way "to tell the court to stuff it."
Stomping and snorting about school funding is getting awfully old, and it does nothing to move the state forward when it comes to solving an extremely difficult problem.
The objection then, as it is now, is that lawmakers should be making such big decisions. After all, Supreme Court judges are not elected. But courts exist for a reason, such as now when lawmakers fail to do what's necessary to properly educate kids. Read more here.
IN DEPTH: LAWMAKERS UNCERTAIN ABOUT RESPONSE TO COURT RULING
John Richmeier, Leavenworth Times
Following a Kansas Supreme Court ruling
that the state's newest school funding
formula is unconstitutional, local
lawmakers are uncertain how the Legislature will respond.
Stufflebeam said he believes the base aid that is provided for each student should be higher than what was approved by lawmakers earlier this year.
But Fitzgerald said lawmakers should challenge the court's authority.  Read more here .
SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES
WEIGH IN ON FUNDING
Gary Demuth, Salina Journal
In a unanimous ruling earlier this month, the Kansas Supreme Court found the new school finance system implemented by legislators to be unconstitutional.
The state's high court ruled that the formula provided neither adequate nor equitable funding for Kansas students and gave lawmakers until June 30 to find a way to more fairly distribute state aid.
Six candidates are running for three open four-year seats on the school board: Mark Bandre, Emma Doherty, Jim Fletcher, Ed Geihsler, Gabe Grant and Karyn Mettner. Gary Denning and Ramona Newsom are vying for one open two-year term.  Read more here .
SAM BROWNBACK'S LEGACY: WHAT'S THE POINT OF  WINNING ELECTIONS IF YOU CAN'T GOVERN?
Steve Kraske, The Kansas City Star
The Brownback era is coming to a merciful conclusion. With it, come questions that
will haunt Brownback, Kensinger and the
conservative wing of the Kansas Republican Party for years.
Here's one, and it may be the most stinging of them all:
What's the point of winning if you can't govern once you get there?
Here's another, and this one hurts, too:
Name one function of Kansas government that works better today than before Brownback became his state's 46th governor?
There may be some. But run through a checklist of the core functions of state government, and the logical conclusion is unmistakable: There isn't much.
Read more here .
EDITORIAL: WHEN EXPERIENCE REALLY MATTERS
The Capital-Journal Editorial Board, cjonline.com
In American politics, candidates often present themselves as political "outsiders" - regular folks who will
bring a common sense perspective to Congress, the state Legislature, the White House, the governor's mansion, etc. This is why Kris Kobach has announced that he wants to "drain the swamp" and dismantle the "culture of corruption" in Topeka. But if you ask him what "corruption" he's talking about, he'll tell you Sen. Anthony Henlsey has been in office a little too long - proof that the emotional impact of the word matters more to him than its definition.  Sure, government experience can be a liability - but it can also be a valuable asset that demonstrates what a candidate is capable of accomplishing.  Read more here .
THE TRUE COST OF NEGLECTING
OUR CIVIL SERVICE SYSTEM
John W Carlin & Civic Leadership  
In my last blog, which reviewed the six
plus years of the Brownback Administration, the final major point was the damage done to the civil service system. I want to follow up on that because there is more to the story, and understanding this in some depth is very important as we move forward with efforts to restore our state in the wake of these damaging years for Kansas. Without a clear comprehension of what happened with the civil service system and the consequences of those decisions, there will be little opportunity to gain the support necessary for positive action.
The key message here is that getting the state back to quality service will not be easy, and it will take time. It is not just restoring professionalism by repealing the Brownback spoils system, providing stability to the state employee retirement system, and opening up our state workforce to a wider and more diverse talent pool, but also finding resources to better staff needed functions.
Read more here.
KANSAS TRIED A TAX PLAN SIMILAR TO TRUMP'S. IT FAILED
Jim Tankersley, The New York Times
The Republican tax rewrite unveiled this month aims to jump-start economic growth in part by establishing a 25% tax rate on small businesses and other firms that operate as pass-through entities, a cut from the top rate of 39.6 percent that such business owners pay now.
But the abandoned experiment in Kansas points to how a carve-out intended to help raise growth and create jobs instead created an incentive for residents, particularly high earners, to avoid paying state income taxes by changing how they got paid.
Participation at the federal level could be far more dramatic - with tax benefits dwarfing those enjoyed in Kansas. Already, 70 percent of pass-through income  flows to the top 1 percent of American income earners, Owen Zidar, an economist at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, has found.  Read more here .






  
Over the past two years, we've received many requests from women in the Topeka and Lawrence areas who were interested in joining a W4K Chapter.
Until now, we didn't have one. 
Now, thanks to the interest and efforts of go-getters Thai Edwards, Ethel Edwards, and Sue Wine, Women for Kansas has launched its 14th  Chapter in the northeast part of the state. The first meeting for W4K Northeast will be November 12, 2:00 pm, at the Oskaloosa Public Library where a representative from Kansas Advancing Women (KAW) will speak.
Out of curiosity, we checked the numerology meaning of the number 14. It represents a composition of freedom, self-determination, curiosity, wit, and conscientiousness-personal attributes of these Leaders that ensure the success of W4K-14. If you know Thai, Ethel or Sue--and even if you don't--let them know you'll be attending their first meeting!

Scroll for W4KNE and other W4K chapter meeting event notices.
COWLEY COLLEGE DIGNITARIES TAKE PART IN SUMNER GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY
A group of leaders from Wichita, Sumner County and Cowley County W4K chapters got together for lunch prior to enjoying the groundbreaking ceremony for the Sumner County campus of Cowley College on the east edge of Wellington.
It was a great day in many ways, one that will set the stage for big things to come in higher education in Sumner County.
Co-leaders in attendance were Kay Ryan and Jolene Roitman from Sumner County; Joan Warren from Wichita; Jan Drennan and Pam Moreno from Cowley County.

Through hard work and vision from numerous individuals, the groundbreaking ceremony for Cowley College's Sumner County campus took place Oct. 11 in Wellington.
In his remarks, Rittle thanked Sumner Campus Operations Officer Jan Grace and the groundbreaking committee.
He also thanked the advance groundbreaking ceremony team; faculty, staff, administrators, Student Ambassadors, spirit squad and criminal justice students who helped with the event; the cross-sectional campus planning committee composed of citizens from across Sumner County; and his wife, Christy, for her unwavering support.
Finally, he had every citizen of Sumner County stand to receive a prolonged round of applause for their bravery and courage to support this project.  Read more here .
WHERE THEY STAND: GOVERNOR CANDIDATES TALK MEDICAID EXPANSION
Allison Kite, cjonline.com
Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act provides health insurance coverage to adults who make up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line, and the federal government has to cover 90 percent of the cost.
Expansion, which carries support from many Kansans, could come up in the gubernatorial primary campaigns. Democrats are uniformly in favor of the program, but Republicans remain split.
Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer and Wichita businessman Wink Hartman all oppose expansion. 
Former Rep. Ed O'Malley and former Sen. Jim Barnett both favored the program. O'Malley said Kansans' federal tax dollars were already paying for expansion in other states and they should benefit from that funding.  Read more here .
FEDS LET KS MEDICAID PROGRAM CONTINUE FOR 12 MONTHS
Jonathan Shorman, The Wichtia Eagle
The federal government is allowing a Kansas program that administers Medicaid services to more than 400,000 people to continue for another year after an earlier request was denied.  Kansas said Monday the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services authorized a 12-month extension of KanCare, the state's privatized Medicaid program for low-income and disabled residents.
The federal agency denied an earlier extension request in January, saying the program was "substantially out of compliance" with federal law and regulations, after investigators reviewed the program in October 2016.
As part of the extension, Kansas must continue implementing its corrective action plan.  Read more here .
LEAGUE DAY 2017!
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21, 9:30am-3:00pm
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, $30.00, available until Oct. 19.
Registration after October 19 is $35.00.

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.
COMMON CORE STANDARDS WILL SOON BE A THING OF THE PAST IN KANSAS
Peter Hancock, LJWorld.com
The Common Core educational standards for reading and math, long a source of intense political controversy, will soon go by the wayside in Kansas.
But they aren't going away because of political opposition or the continuous demands from conservatives to have them repealed. Instead, they are being updated and replaced on the regular seven-year cycle that applies to all educational standards in the state.
Read more here.
LOCAL SCHOOLS NEED TEACHER RAISES TO COMPETE
Willis Scott, KSNT.com
Kansas was short 1,500 teachers at the beginning of the current school year. Dr. Tiffany Anderson, Superintendent of Topeka Public Schools said Kansas universities aren't graduating enough teachers to meet the state's demand.
"We want to be as competitive as possible as it relates to salary," she said.
Watch here.
EDITORIAL: DON'T FOLLOW BROWNBACK'S LEAD
J-W Editorial Staff, LJWorld.com
For the first time in a long time, legislators from both sides of the aisle showed a willingness to work together to get legislation passed. But they did so without the help of the governor, whose activity during the session basically boiled down to vetoing bipartisan legislation.
Colyer has a choice of what kind of governor he will be: a pragmatist willing to work toward compromise to move Kansas forward or a rigid ideologue like his predecessor. His decision likely will determine how long his  gubernatorial tenure lasts. Read more here.
KANSAS LEGISLATORS DINE ON LOBBYISTS DIME IN
MILE-HIGH CITY
Mary Clarkin, The Hutchinson News
A lobbyist for a Medicaid managed-care services provider took six Kansas Republican legislators to a steakhouse dinner in Denver, where the food and beverage tab exceeded $1,000.
The cost was divided to show the value for each legislator's dinner at $206.03. Read more here.
KANSAS CANDIDATES FOR GOVERNOR DECRY STATE'S "DYSFUNCTIONAL GOVERNMENT"
Kansas News Service, KPR
One big issue in the race for Kansas governor is what some candidates are calling the state's increasingly dysfunctional government. As Jim McLean of the Kansas News Servicereports, the issue is giving some candidates a chance to connect with frustrated voters while putting others on the defensive.  Listen here .
EDITORIAL: NATIONAL GOP CAN'T IGNORE KANSAS
The Capital-Journal Editorial Board, cjonline.com
"Kansas" remains a byword for "terrible fiscal policy" in the U.S.  In fact, the Kansas economy has performed much worse than the rest of the country since the tax cuts were implemented.
Jenkins is right to point out that "federal and state tax reform are not the same," but there's also substantial overlap. Is she saying none of the evidence from her own state should be heeded?
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
(You are not required to have a PayPal account).

FYI: If your dues exceed $75,
we'll send tax-deductible receipt
for the difference.
KANSAS SILVER HAIRED LEGISLATURE WANTS MEDICAID EXPANSION
Stephen Koranda, KMUW 89.1
The Silver Haired Legislature targeted expanding Medicaid as a goal for the next Kansas legislative session.
Don Woodard, one of the group's leaders, says there are thousands of Kansans between the ages of 60 and 65 who fall into a coverage gap. They aren't old enough to qualify for Medicare, but they make too much to qualify for Medicaid right now.
"Some of them are working, but they don't make enough to pay for their own insurance coverage. They're working hard. They're working people in the state. Some of them have two or three jobs," Woodard said.
Expanding Medicaid would mean many of them would qualify for the health care program.  Listen here .
VoteRunLead supports the aspirations of women who want to transform our country and democracy through their participation as leaders.  Visit  here .
MERYL STREEP - SHINE YOUR LIGHT
The things are changing now. This is your time and it feels normal to you, but, really there is no normal. There's only change and resistance to it, and then more change. Since the dawn of man, it's hardly more than a hundred years since we were even allowed into these buildings, except to clean them. Cracks in the ceiling, cracks in the door, cracks in the court and on the senate floor...pay attention to the cracks 'cause that's
where the light gets in. Watch here.
KAW ADVANCING WOMEN ENDORSEMENTS
The 2017 Local Elections are less than a month away. These are the candidates we've endorsed.
Don't forget to vote on November 7! Today, Tuesday, October 17, 2017, is the last day to register to vote in the general election. You can register to vote online here. The League of Women Voters of Kansas has more information about registering to vote here.
Read more 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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