Archive for the ‘Kansas Politics’ Category

Court Says Mission’s Drive Way ‘ Fee’ is Illegal
July 2, 2015

TOPEKA, Kansas — The Kansas Court of Appeals says a so-called “driveway tax” imposed by a Kansas City suburb is illegal under a state law limiting the taxing power of cities.

A three-judge appeals panel ruled Thursday. It rejected arguments from Mission that its levy is a transportation fee that doesn’t run afoul of limits on the power of cities to impose excise taxes. It’s based on how many vehicles come and go from a property.

Groups representing building owners and managers challenged the levy. The appellate panel said it’s a tax because almost every property owner must pay it to raise revenues for general road repairs.

The ruling can be appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court.

The city’s budget this year is $17.5 million and it expects the tax to raise $775,000.

Brown back Considering Religous Objection Proposal After Gay Marriage Ruling
July 2, 2015

(AP) – Republican Gov. Sam Brownback says he’s considering proposing a new religious objections law for Kansas following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing gay marriage across the nation.

Brownback on Thursday also defended the state’s refusal so far to allow gay and lesbian spouses to change their last names on driver’s licenses or to file joint income tax returns. The governor said his administration wants to make sure such changes are handled correctly.

Brownback has been a strong supporter of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage that was reinforced by a 2005 amendment to the Kansas Constitution.

The governor said religious liberties need to be protected. As for legislation next year, he said, “We’re looking at that.”

Gay-rights leader Tom Witt said Brownback is defying the high court ruling.

Kansas Court Says School Block Grants are Unconstitutional
June 26, 2015

Topeka Capital Journal:
A panel of Shawnee County district court judges on Friday declared Kansas’ latest school finance bill unconstitutional both in terms of equity and adequacy.

The court says that Senate Bill 7 — the block grant bill — violates Article 6 of the Kansas Constitution.

A key issue for the court is the way the Legislature changed the two types of funding that affect poorer districts.

The bill cut more than $50 million in operating and maintenance funds exclusively from school districts that qualify for equalization funding based on having weaker tax bases.

The judges say we “withdraw our previous finding of substantial compliance,” referring to its previous decision following last spring’s finance legislation.

In that decision the court found that last spring’s school finance bill addressed equity issues. Now, the court says the finding was “premature” and “incorrect.”

KCK mayor Holland: “One of the Great Civil Rights Moments”
June 26, 2015

KCK Mayor Mark Holland’s statement:
“I celebrate today with our LGBT brothers and sisters all over America at the Supreme Court’s historic decision legalizing marriage for ALL people! This is one of the great civil rights moments in our nation as we finally recognize that marriage is an institution based on love and should be available to everyone.

The United States has always been a beacon of light for freedom and equality to the world. At a time when LGBT persons face discrimination, hatred, and even death in other countries, the United States now stands tall as a leader for justice.

Let us now commit ourselves to the ongoing work of justice for others who remain the least, the last, and the lost, because, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere

Brownback Charges “Activist” Courts with Overruling Popular Vote
June 26, 2015

Here is the statement of Ks Gov. Sam Brownback after the SCOTUS ruling on SSM:
“Activist courts should not overrule the people of this state, who have clearly supported the Kansas Constitution’s definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.

“We will review the ruling carefully to understand its effects on the people of Kansas.”

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