Commentary

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/

Wed
07
Feb

Lead the trade train

John Schlageck
Insight

The future of U.S. agriculture remains tied to this nation’s competitiveness in world trade. Our country must become more aggressive and assume its leadership role in trade negotiations.

It’s past time for our nation’s president and congressional delegation to lead this trade train. Political posturing and lack of cooperation on both sides of the aisle hasn’t worked. Our elected leaders are sent to Washington on behalf of this nation’s people. It’s time for them to work on behalf of U.S. farmers and ranchers, manufacturing, business and every other sector throughout this great nation.

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

Wed
07
Feb

Claflin rallies to help a hometown legend beat cancer

Jackie Stiles

Kansans are at their best during difficult times. How many stories have been written about neighbors postponing their own wheat harvest to help a sick friend or relative? Or a community coming together to support others — often strangers — in the wake of a tornado or some other natural disaster?

Claflin and its 624 residents are certainly no exception to the Kansas Way.

Several weeks ago, the community learned that one of its own, Jackie Stiles, had been diagnosed with ocular melanoma, a disease so rare it affects only six in 1 million. Friday, the basketball standout who grew up in Claflin and graduated from the high school there, is set to undergo radiation on the tumor that is wrapped around her ocular nerve.

Wed
31
Jan

The gift of [bad] health

LeeAnn Hall
Others Say

On Jan. 11, the Trump administration issued a cruel announcement: If you can’t find a job, don’t count on being able to get health care.

Under an unprecedented new policy, the administration will let states kick people off Medicaid for the crime of being unemployed. Instead of providing good jobs to struggling people, the administration is offering threats and tougher times.

Those hurt could include the Carrier plant workers from Indiana, whose jobs Trump promised to save when he was campaigning for the presidency. Last year, the company announced 600 layoffs.

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

Wed
31
Jan

‘Suitable’ funding term still sparks legal debate

Rep. Steven Johnson
Capitol View

The third week of the Kansas Legislative session saw most work continuing to advance in committees. We were able to work a couple of bills in the tax committee that are now ready for action before the full house. Those bills include one for Thomas County and another that clarifies the definition of special fuels relating to road fuel tax.

Other topics were reviewed in various committees and caucuses. The history of article 6 of the Kansas constitution was reviewed, specifically the 15 words at the start of section 6b. That is the statute at the heart of the school funding lawsuit. It reads: “The legislature shall make suitable provision for finance of the educational interests of the state.”

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Commentary