October 3 , 2017
SCHOOL FUNDING STILL INADEQUATE AND UNFAIR, SUPREME COURT RULES
Dion Lefler, Suzanne Perez Tobias & Jonathan Shorman, The Wichita Eagle
In a case with potentially hundreds of millions of tax dollars at stake, the Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that the Legislature's latest efforts to provide adequate and fair funding for schools still falls short.
The decision that the current system is unconstitutional will send the issue back to the Legislature with orders to add more funding to school district budgets statewide next year.  The ruling also ordered a fairer distribution of state funding, to ensure that students in poor districts have the same educational opportunities as their peers in wealthier communities.  Read more here .
KS DELEGATION FULLY BEHIND TAX REFORM PLAN SIMILAR TO BROWNBACK POLICIES THAT WERE REPEALED
Peter Hancock, LJWorld.com
"All six members of the Kansas congressional delegation are backing a federal tax reform package that Republican leaders and the Trump administration outlined this past week, despite the fact that many elements of the plan are similar to the one that Gov. Sam Brownback championed at the state level in 2012 and that a Republican-dominated Legislature repealed earlier this year.
"Middle class Kansans need a tax break and a less complicated tax system. We can provide real reform to real people without increasing our deficit," Davis said in an email statement. "But we know that Washington special interests want something different. The last thing we need is a Brownback-style tax package that gives massive tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans and multi-national corporations at the expense of everyone else."
An analysis released Friday by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center said the plan would reduce federal revenues by $2.4 trillion over 10 years. It also said the wealthiest individuals in the U.S. would receive the biggest tax cuts, while those near the bottom end of the pay scale - the 80th to 95th percentile - would, on average, see a tax increase."  Read more here .
THE GOP TAX PLAN IS WHAT WE KNEW IT WOULD BE -- TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH
Josh Givens & Hunter Blair,
Moyers & Company
The framework of the Republican tax plan was released today. In recent months, architects of the plan repeatedly promised that they had no "intention" to release a tax plan that disproportionately cut the taxes of the rich. Some too-credulous writers repeatedly chastised those of who thought that past Republican plans would provide a decent roadmap for the future and pre-emptively warned about all of the creative ways their new plan would likely try to cut the taxes of the rich. So, did Republicans unexpectedly veer and deliver a "middle-class tax cut"?  Nope.
They have once again rolled out a tax plan that is basically the same as all their previous tax plans. Not only does it deliver big tax cuts for the rich, it actually pretty creatively ensures that the crumbs that fall to the middle class will be as small as possible.  Read more here .
KOBACH, ADVISORY COMMISSION ON RECKLESS PATH
Julie Doll, The Garden City Telegram
Led by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Vice President Mike Pence, the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity would be an amusing, money-wasting sideshow if not for the serious damage it could do.
Studies and data show voting violations are rare, but the most common voting law violations that do occur involve absentee ballots and people voting in multiple states. Neither would be prevented by conducting background checks.  But the commission isn't really interested in credible data or improving the integrity of elections, which brings us to the damaging part.
The commission's goals can be understood by looking at Kansas' elections as overseen by Kobach.  Read more here .
LET PEOPLE VOTE: FIGHTING TO RESTORE AMERICA'S VOTING RIGHTS
Brian Tashman, ACLU
The wave of voter suppression measures accelerated after the 2010 elections, with politicians enacting new laws that made it more difficult to register to vote and curtailed access to the ballot box.
Voting restrictions disproportionately affect the elderly, low-income voters, young people, people with disabilities and communities of color. Many places that have imposed such restrictions also have a long and shameful history of racial discrimination. In the face of these growing attacks on constitutional rights, it is time to go on offense.
The ACLU's Let People Vote campaign intends to ensure that every American's right to vote is protected.
Read more here.
HISTORIC CHANGE MAY BE COMING TO A BALLOT NEAR YOU
Dion Lefler, The Wichita Eagle
The Kansas Legislature is about to consider a radical change in voting.
It's called "ranked-choice voting," and
if it passes, you'll be asked not just to vote for one candidate when you fill out your ballot, but to rank candidates by your order of preference. And those second and third choices could end up getting counted and even deciding close elections.
Here's how ranked-choice voting works: In elections with more than two candidates, voters rank the candidates on the ballot from the one they like best to the one they like least.  Read more here.
FALL ELECTIONS PLANNED TO BOOST TURNOUT
Beginning this year, municipal, or local, elections have been moved to the fall. Municipal elections include candidates for city, school and community college districts. General Election Day is November 7.
The last day to register to vote is Oct. 17 and advance ballots will be mailed Oct. 18. In-person early voting may begin as early as Oct. 18 and no later than Oct. 31.
To register to vote in Kansas visit your county election office, the Kansas Secretary of State's office, or register online at:  kdor.ks.gov/Apps/VoterReg. To verify voter information, find your polling place, or find a sample ballot visit the county election office or go online at
myvoteinfo.voteks.org.
KS WON'T EXPAND MEDICAID, DENYING A  LIFELINE TO RURAL HOSPITALS AND PATIENTS
Alex Thompson & Ryan Grim,
The Intercept
ON A FRIDAY AFTERNOON in late March, some of the most powerful people in Wellington, Kansas,
 crowded into the office of physician Faustino Naldoza. The civic leaders, were trying to prevail upon state Sen. Larry Alley to side with them in a vote the following week. The state legislature would be deciding on whether to overturn a veto by Gov. Sam Brownback of an expansion of the state healthcare program called KanCare - otherwise known, unfortunately for its prospects, as Medicaid.
The expansion was a lifeline to towns like Wellington. Across Kansas, and throughout much of the rural U.S., small hospitals have been closing. In 2017, Wellington's Sumner Regional Medical Center joined a growing list of more than 600 rural hospitals that, according to 2016 report by health analytics firm iVantage, are at risk of shuttering, potentially leveling blows to local economies and leaving residents without nearby emergency services and accessible routine care.  Read more here.
FEDERAL IMMIGRATION UNCERTAINTY CAUSES
ANXIETY IN WESTERN KANSAS
Jonathan Shorman, The Wichita Eagle
Undocumented immigrants have long supplied labor in Kansas agriculture.
 But the pool of available workers began shrinking a few years ago amid drought and increased immigration enforcement by former President Barack Obama, said Joe Jury, a farm and feedlot owner southeast of Garden City.
The end of DACA, which allows people brought to the country illegally as children to remain in the United States and work legally, could push away even more immigrants. That may be especially true if DACA recipients are deported and other family members in the country illegally go with them.
Mark Hinde, chairman of the board of directors for the Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce, said he had not heard great discussion specifically about DACA but that immigrants are a big part of the community.
"I can confidently say nobody is out here looking just to bring anybody who wants to walk across the border into this country. They want things to be done correctly, done in a legal manner, but they also want that process not to be so daggum burdensome on the individuals that are wanting to do that," Hinde said. Read more 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.
SUPERINTENDENTS ACROSS KANSAS WEIGH IN ON SCHOOL FUNDING DECISION
Brittni Thomason, KWCH-12
"Today's decision is 88 pages long, and it will take some time to go through them carefully to understand fully what the court's decision really means for us," said Thompson. "With that said, we know the court's decision is a positive thing for Kansas kids."  Watch here .
WHY TEEN CANDIDATES FOR KANSAS GOVERNOR MIGHT BE A GOOD THING FOR POLITICS
Mary Sanchez, The Kansas City Star
All three high school students say they are serious contenders to succeed Gov. Sam Brownback, whose administration has, by all accounts, been an absolute flop. The promised flood of private sector jobs never materialized.
So maybe we should foster the passions and advocacy of young people. We may not find them qualified to lead a state before they have graduated high school, but we need to listen to them, respect them and channel their best impulses toward a future when they will have the experience necessary to lead.
Read more here.
I HELPED CREATE THE GOP TAX MYTH. TAX CUTS DON'T EQUAL GROWTH
Bruce Bartlett, Domestic Policy Adviser to President Ronald Reagan
The Washington Post
"Four decades ago, I had a hand in creating the Republican tax myth. Of course, it didn't seem like a myth at that time - taxes were rising rapidly because of inflation and bracket creep, the top tax rate was 70 percent and the economy seemed trapped in stagflation with no way out. Tax cuts, at that time, were an appropriate remedy for the economy's ills.
Based on this logic, tax cuts became the GOP's go-to solution for nearly every economic problem. Extravagant claims are made for any proposed tax cut.
That's wishful thinking. So is most Republican rhetoric around tax cutting. In reality, there's no evidence that a tax cut now would spur growth."
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.
LET PEOPLE VOTE LAUNCH
WATCH LIVE: Donald Trump and Kris Kobach have teamed up to spread the lie of mass voter fraud and sanction voter suppression. Today we're in Kansas launching a campaign to fight back all across the country.  Watch here .
VOTING RIGHTS ACT OF 1965 EXPLAINED
HipHughes History, YouTube
An overview of the landmark legislation passed giving the Federal Government enforcement power over the states in relationship to the 15th Amendment. Including Shelby County vs Holder which effectively kills much it. Huh?
Watch here .
VoteRunLead supports the aspirations of women who want to transform our country and democracy through their participation as leaders.  Visit  here .



MONDAY, OCTOBER 9, 7-9pm
First Unitarian Universalist
Church of Wichita
7202 E. 21st St. N., Wichita

Co-hosted by Expand Medicaid
in Kansas NOW and First UU.
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
YOU DON'T HAVE TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!
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 ".  REGISTER TODAY!

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 .
Stay In Touch

Facebook    Twitter