Transgender Bathrooms May Be Sine Die Issue in Kansas

May 23, 2016 - Leave a Response

(AP) – Republican lawmakers say they anticipate taking up the issue of transgender school bathrooms upon reconvening next week.

The issue gained attention after the Obama administration’s recent guidance that transgender students at public schools be allowed to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.

The Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/25i0SnJ ) reports that Rep. John Whitmer says he and other conservative lawmakers will try to run a resolution that would express the Legislature’s displeasure. The Wichita Republican says the plan is to send the resolution to federal officials.

A bill introduced in the Kansas Legislature this year would have ordered schools to require transgender students to use the facilities corresponding to the sex determined by their chromosome makeup as recorded on their birth certificate. But that bill stalled in committee.

Kansas School Takes Up Transgender Bathroom Order

May 17, 2016 - Leave a Response

(AP) – The Kansas State Board of Education on Tuesday criticized the Obama administration’s directive that public schools allow transgender students to use bathrooms that match their gender identities, not their sex at birth.

Board members called the directive an encroachment on local control, but voted 6-4 against issuing a public statement rejecting the federal mandate. Members agreed to discuss the issue again next month after consulting with their attorney and reviewing school districts’ policies.

State board member Ken Willard, a Hutchinson Republican, asked that the Legislature and Gov. Sam Brownback protect the state from what he called federal overreach. The board needs to take a stance on the issue, he said.

Self’S LLC Renews Talk on Closing Tax Break

May 17, 2016 - Leave a Response

(AP) – Bill Self isn’t paying state taxes on the bulk of his millions of dollars of income as men’s basketball coach at Kansas, all legal under 2012 tax reforms.

KCUR (http://bit.ly/1Tkll2m ) reports Self earns a taxable salary of $230,000 a year.

But he also gets at least $2.75 million annually from the entity that runs the school’s intercollegiate sports, and that money goes to Self’s BCLT II limited liability company. That’s among the nearly 334,000 Kansas businesses that owe no state income taxes under Gov. Sam Brownback administration’s 2012 tax cuts. Self’s tax break comes out to more than $125,000 a year.

Kansas Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka says he likes Self. But he argues that while the cuts were meant to create jobs, Self doesn’t do that.

Brownback Signs Bill Dropping Welfare Benefits for Needy Families to 24 Months

May 16, 2016 - Leave a Response

(AP) – Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill Monday that he said is aimed at freeing more people from poverty, but opponents argue the new welfare restrictions leave families without a safety net during financial difficulties.

Under the new law Kansans will be limited to 24 months on cash assistance over their lifetime. The previous limit was 36 months.

Able-bodied recipients of food assistance also will be required to participate in an employment or training program and not quit a job that offers at least 30 hours of work per week.

The Brownback administration estimates that about 9 percent of the approximately 4,900 households receiving cash assistance will reach the new lifetime limit within the next year.

Selling Kemper Could Save Millions

May 16, 2016 - Leave a Response

Selling Kemper Arena to the Foutch Brothers Development company could save City Hall millions of dollars, according to City Councilman Scott Taylor.

“Anywhere from five to six million dollars, anywhere up to 10 million dollars, pending upon how it’s torn down,” said Taylor.

The city also spends about a million dollars a year just keeping the building operating.

The Foutch Brothers originally presented a plan to buy Kemper to the City Council. In their plan, Kemper would have a second floor on the second deck and use it has a youth sports facility for basketball, soccer and other sports.

Foutch Athletics already runs two indoor facilities in the Kansas City area and two more in other locations in the Midwest.

Taylor also thinks a revitalized Kemper could help encourage more economic development in the West Bottoms.

Taylor says the facility would draw families who would be dropping off athletes to compete there.

“They’re going to need a place to eat, to shop. This will spur economic activity,” Taylor said.

There will be a special City Council Committee meeting Wednesday night at Kemper area on the proposed sale.

It will be preceded by a tour of Kemper which is open to the public.