Stiffer crime penalties worry some legislators

From The Associated Press

A bill in the Kansas Senate would stiffen penalties for home burglaries, but senators are worried that the measure might further strain the state’s crowded prisons.

Assistant County Attorney for Leavenworth Christopher Scott testified to the Senate Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee on Tuesday that other than murders and rapes, home burglaries touch victims on a deeper level than any other crime.

He said victims are often incensed at what they see as disproportionately low sentencing guidelines that often result in probation even for serial offenders. Continue reading

Classic Bean in Topeka next gig for Chapter 2 Jan. 16

new Classic Bean ad_edited-1

It’s time to rise up

‘Expand Kansas Medicaid’ rally Feb. 17, Topeka

Freelance writer/editor

A broad coalition of sunflower state disability advocates and supporters have joined forces to “Expand Medicaid in Kansas,” a Feb. 17 rally at 2 p.m. at the state Capitol rotunda in Topeka. Organizers hope to attract more than 100 supporters.

The goal is simple: Present a unified force of Kansas disability rights advocates and supporters to send Gov. Sam Brownback and state legislators a clear message that it is critical to expand Medicaid during this legislative session.

The group will meet just before 2 p.m. in the rotunda of the state Capitol. State legislators will give health care policy updates. KanCare recipients negatively affected by the state’s experimental, for-profit managed care initiative — including Finn Bullers of Kansas City who fought the state to have his caregiver hours restored — will address the rally. Continue reading

KanCare: ‘It’s a mess.’

Health care aid for low-income Kansans
not ready for prime time

Freelance writer/editor

“Ad Astra Per Aspera,” so the state motto of Kansas goes — “To the Stars through Difficulties.”

Most certainly, KanCare recipients have yet to reach “the stars” of low-income state health care.

But it seems the “difficulties” part of the state motto for me and thousands of Kansans has come with dump-truck loads of petty politics — crushing our faith in the gubernatorial leadership of Kansas. Continue reading

Ouch! Kansas, the purple state

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback recently said in his State of the State Address, “Look out, Texas, her comes Kansas!”

The following is an interesting view on what is taking place in Kansas politics during Brownback’s reign. It’s by Huffington Post freelance writer Jeffrey Ann Goudie, who grew up in Midland, Texas, and now lives in Topeka having moved to Kansas several years ago.

She says despite its national image of being a red state, Kansas actually was a good mix of all views making it a progressive purple. But because Brownback, et al, has made the state so red because of his aggressive attack policies on public education, social programs, and tax cuts, the state is now purple because of bruising.

Click here to read her article.


Budget battle or playing into Brownback’s plan

Ultra conservative Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback isn’t the little engine that thought he could. No, he’s the diesel locomotive barreling down the tracks at full speed.

So when Brownback, in his State of the State speech last January, presented his budget plan that included sweeping and dramatic changes in the state’s tax code, he likely thought the tracks ahead of him were clear of all legislative clutter given the fact conservatives control the Kansas House and are just a few seats shy of controlling the Senate.

For years, conservatives fought, and usually lost to, moderate Republican and Democratic governors in trying to create legislation to diminish government and pass conservative agenda items. And now, finally, standing before them was a governor wanting to shrink government, reduce spending, reduce taxes, improve the business climate especially for small businesses, and put money back into the pockets of Kansans.

Brownback is the kind of governor conservative legislators have wanted in office for years. Continue reading

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