Kansas Looks at More Teacher Legislation– Teachers & School Boards
September 29, 2015

(AP) – A Legislative committee is seeking information about what would happen if spouses or relatives of school employees aren’t allowed to serve on school boards.

The Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/1iYWlAF) reports that the Kansas Legislative Research Department sent out a survey to school board members throughout the state on Friday asking about the issue.

Researcher Martha Dorsey says the request came initially from a committee that will be reviewing the effect of a bill that was introduced during the past session and tabled. The bill would restrict a person from serving on a local school board if his or her spouse, parent or sibling worked for any school district in the state.

The bill also would restrict people who conduct business with school districts from serving on their local school boards.

Kansas Democrat Says the Kansas ” Fairy Tale” Is Brownback’s Version of the Budget
February 20, 2013

Kansas Democrat Chair Joan Wagnon Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s ” fairy tale” budget” will mean “cuts to schools are inevitable”.
Wagnon, a former Revenue Secretary under Democratic Governors Kathleen Sebelius and Mark Parkinson, says the Republican is using “fuzzy math” to justify his spending and budget choices.
Earlier this week, the Wichita Eagle reported the Governor has been using inaccurate numbers in budget presentations. He had claimed spending in the Parkinson Administration was a billion dollars more that what it actually was.
His Budget Director Steve Anderson apologized for the error.
The former Democratic Revenue Secretary challenged Brownback’s assertion that the years of Sebelius’ and Parkinson’s administration years were ” a lost decade”, according to Brownback.
Wagnon says the Republican isn’t telling the entire story about those years. She says the era was bookmarked by the 9-11 Recession and the 2008 Stock Market Crash.
“In those middle years Kansas saw growth in jobs and its revenues. The numbers of state employees steadily decreased while state government maintained quality services for Kansans,”said Wagnon.
The Democratic leader praised the newspaper for it’s work. She says the most accurate budget numbers are still coming from the State’s Legislative Research Department.
That agency, says Wagnon, is predicting up to a $700 million budget shortfall if there no increases in revenues and more cuts in spending. The Brownback Administration wants to do both.

Kansas Senators Looking at Science Headquarters Olathe Building Costs
February 16, 2011

The Associated Press is reporting Staff members of the Kansas Bioscience Authority faced some questioning by state senators over their salaries and building expense.

Members of the Senate’s Commerce Committee on Tuesday demanded the staff salary breakdown and an accounting of building costs for its Olathe offices from KBA president and CEO Tom Thornton. The demand came in the wake of recent comments by a group of Wichita scientists that the authority is backing away from a promise to give it $20 million over five years.

KBA countered that its board of directors has not approved a $20 million commitment to the group working on medical implants.

The Legislature created the KBA in 2004 to collect tax money from the health care industry and use it to finance startup bioscience operations.

“We want to make sure they are using taxpayer dollars wisely,state Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, told The Wichita Eagle after the hearing.

She is concerned that KBA is spending $10.8 million to build its office, a cost she calculated at $278 per square foot.

“Nowhere did I see where they were authorized to use the money for bricks and mortar,” she said.

Thornton told lawmakers he would get back to them with the information they requested.