Commentary

Wed
14
Mar

Democracy demands light

By Doug Anstaett
For the I-R

In recent years, the buzzword in politics has been “transparency.”

Just about everyone has jumped on the transparency bandwagon.

Our legislators certainly have been talking about it. Only a month ago, our new governor signed a number of executive orders demanding more transparency from the state agencies that report to him. Candidates for office are promising, if elected of course, more of it as well.

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition. http://etypeservices.com/Ellsworth%20County%20Independent%20ReporterID559/

Wed
14
Mar

THE MONEY SEARCH

Rep. Steven Johnson
Capitol View

The first full week after the break saw more bills moving and key discussions taking shape. The education funding question continued in both the related budget and tax committees. There is much anticipation of the education cost study soon to be released.

The tax committee heard a bill that would increase property tax by the $659.9 million requested by the state board of education over three years. It takes just over an 18 mill increase to raise that amount.

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition. http://etypeservices.com/Ellsworth%20County%20Independent%20ReporterID559/

Wed
07
Mar

Tips are for servers

By Irene Tung and Teófilo Reyes

When we give someone a tip, we expect the money will go to the workers who provided us with service.

We might leave a little extra because someone went above and beyond for us. Or because we want that person to have a slightly easier time getting by.

Whatever the circumstance, we trust that the money will help the workers who served us.

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition. http://etypeservices.com/Ellsworth%20County%20Independent%20ReporterID559/

Wed
07
Mar

STATE BUSINESS

Rep. Steven Johnson
Capitol View

Our legislative week was short as we returned from the turnaround break to start the second half of the general session. We had a couple of cybersecurity bills, but otherwise there was little action on the floor of the House.

In the appropriations committee we heard more reports from our budget subcommittees and are currently working on the transportation budget.

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition. http://etypeservices.com/Ellsworth%20County%20Independent%20ReporterID559/

Wed
28
Feb

Withering winter wheat

John Schlageck
Insight

Some say the landscape in central and western Kansas looks like a barren, brown wasteland. Others believe that statement may be too kind.

Whatever you see, and however you describe it — conditions remain dire in many regions of Kansas going into the final week of February.

In Lincoln County for example, it’s difficult, and nearly impossible, to see green anywhere. Wheat crops look brown like the previous year’s stubble or the fall residue. It doesn’t matter if you look at wheat in bottom land or on hill tops, the crop looks terrible.

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition. http://etypeservices.com/Ellsworth%20County%20Independent%20ReporterID559/

Wed
28
Feb

TURNAROUND

Rep. Steven Johnson
Capitol View

We have reached our turnaround week in the legislature where bills are due out of their first chamber. To get House bills passed and to the Senate, we spent much of the week on the floor of the house. Many bills were debated.

Among those passed was a bill that would move our corrections officers to the Kansas Police and Fire (KP&F) plan from their current group within KPERS. It is a better benefit for our corrections officers, particularly those newly hired. However, it does cost more.

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition. http://etypeservices.com/Ellsworth%20County%20Independent%20ReporterID559/

Wed
21
Feb

Taxes and more taxes?

Rep. Steven Johnson
Capitol View

The past week in the legislature was highlighted by a presentation from Jay Langley, who is a CPA in Salina. He presented on behalf of the CPA’s on the impact changes in the federal income tax laws will have on Kansas’ state income taxes.

A second report from the Department of Revenue provided the estimated tax impact of each issue.

For Kansas taxpayers, this is projected to be $137 million in the first year. For me, the $137 million was helpful to identify the magnitude of the issues we need to review in the tax committee.

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition. http://etypeservices.com/Ellsworth%20County%20Independent%20ReporterID559/

Wed
21
Feb

PRIMARY VOTE

Jerry Marsh
Political Bites

A follow-up to Ms. Denning’s column last week regarding “Choices” for Governor of Kansas. It is imperative that voters turn out for the primary elections in high numbers. Primaries determine our electoral choices in the November general election. Lack of voter participation in primaries often leaves voters with an unsatisfactory choice between partisan extremists.

KNOW THIS: Kansas voting laws are confusing! Many people would call that an understatement. We have Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to thank for much of the unnecessary confusion in Kansas voting laws. Point being, do not take your right to vote in upcoming Kansas elections for granted.

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition. http://etypeservices.com/Ellsworth%20County%20Independent%20ReporterID559/

Wed
14
Feb

Rise and fall of Iowa Point

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray
THE WAY WEST

Doniphan County lies west of the Missouri River in the very northeast corner of Kansas. Before Kansas Territory was created the northern half of the county was held in reserve for the native Iowa people.

Upon the establishment of the territory in 1854, the Iowa Nation sold the greater part of their reserve to the United State government. The tract was identified as the “Iowa Trust Lands”.

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition. http://etypeservices.com/Ellsworth%20County%20Independent%20ReporterID559/

Wed
14
Feb

In search of school $$

Rep. Steven Johnson
Capitol View

Funding required for K-12 education continues to be at the center of discussions in Topeka. To facilitate this discussion, the tax committee will hear a bill to raise the revenue needed to fund schools at the level suggested by the Kansas Board of Education in response to the Gannon lawsuit.

The Board of Education suggested we need to increase funding $659.9 million above the nearly $300 million already increased over the last two years. To do that using property tax would require an increase of roughly 18 mills.

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition. http://etypeservices.com/Ellsworth%20County%20Independent%20ReporterID559/

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Commentary