Archive for January 11th, 2010

Kansas Policy Institute’s Dave Trabert, commentary on unconstitutional school funding attempt

Monday, January 11th, 2010

For example, Mr. Dennis said another Board member “…alleges…” that schools started the current year with $700 million in carryover cash reserves (in addition to money for capital projects and bond payments). This is no allegation, it is a fact that we obtained from the Department of Education. Here are some other facts we discovered that have been confirmed by the Kansas Department of Education (KSDE):

* Deputy Commissioner Dale Dennis says schools can legally use those reserves for current expenses, freeing General Fund receipts for other purposes.

* That $700 million total has grown 53% over the last four years, which means that schools haven’t spent all of the money they received.

IRS to watch Kansas tax preparers more closely — Kansas Reporter

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Under new rules that are still being worked out, tax preparers next year will be required to register with the IRS, pass basic competency tests and take continuing education courses to keep up with changes in the tax code and tax administration policies. Tax attorneys, Certified Public Accountants and tax preparers who’ve already passed IRS tests to become what are known as Enrolled Agents will be exempted from the new rules, Shulman said.

Kansas No. 3, Kansas State No. 13 in AP basketball poll

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Link.

K-State, Manhattan working hard and fast to get site ready for construction of biolab

Monday, January 11th, 2010

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) – Kansas State University and Manhattan officials say they are working quickly to prepare the site for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.

K-State women hammer KU 59-35

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Link.

Proposed Amtrak line would mean millions for Wichita — Eagle

Monday, January 11th, 2010

WICHITA – The proposed Amtrak Northern Flyer train line that would run through Wichita could generate $3.20 in regional economic impact for every $1 invested, according to a new study.

“Overall economic impact shows a break-even return after the first year with a continuing $43 million annual impact,” a summary of the study said.

Estimates project that about 30,700 train riders would visit Wichita each year and spend an average of $105. That would land the city about $3.2 million in tourism dollars a year.

Shawnee lawmaker Owen Donohoe to have heart surgery

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Link.

De Soto Explorer — Additional snow days could change district schedules

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Alvie Cater, director of communications for USD 232 said the district sets aside four inclement weather days each year.

“As of Friday (Jan. 8), we’ve used all four,” he said. “April 5 and April 30 are days that students are off that could be used as make-up days should we exceed our four inclement weather days. In the event we need to take additional time away from school, we will need to develop a plan to make up state required attendance hours for students.”

KTKA — Electronic books available through Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library

Monday, January 11th, 2010

A section of the web site titled Digital Downloads will navigate you to another website called Kansas Overdrive. This website has a variety of books from all the participating libraries in the state.

AP — Kan. Governor Proposes Sales, Tobacco Tax Hikes

Monday, January 11th, 2010

In his State of the State address, Parkinson asked legislators to increase the state’s sales tax to 6.3 percent from 5.3 percent, but only for three years, starting in July. Kansas imposes the tax when consumers buy food, clothing, household items and most products, but not on gasoline or services.

The Democratic governor also asked the Republican-controlled Legislature to boost tobacco taxes to national averages and impose a statewide ban on smoking in public places. Kansas’ cigarette tax would increase by 55 cents a pack, from 79 cents to $1.34, while the tax on other tobacco products would quadruple to 40 percent.

Kansas school districts ask state Supreme Court to reopen lawsuit on financing

Monday, January 11th, 2010

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Lawyers for a coalition of 74 Kansas school districts are asking the state Supreme Court to reopen a 2006 ruling on funding of public schools.

Olathe’s Rob Olson makes The Pitch on synthetic pot

Monday, January 11th, 2010

A prefiled bill in the Kansas Legislature — KS H.B. 2411 — would criminalize synthetic cannabinoids and make them Schedule I controlled substances. The bill is sponsored by Robert Olson, an Olathe Republican and Majority Whip in the Kansas Legislature.

“The police have been fishing for this, and I’ve listened to them and their concerns,” Olson says of Lawrence cops. “I’ve got a daughter in high school, and this is a dangerous drug”…

Regular readers of Plog know that smoking K2 makes you giggle for 20 minutes, at best. And, at worst, makes you self-conscious and maybe a little nauseous. Though it’s been nearly two months since The Pitch test subjects bravely volunteered their minds for expansion, all remain relatively sane without heroin addictions and no sign of necrosis. In at least one case, K2 may have increased an already vigorous sexual potency.

Mike Pence hires Kellyanne Conway, same national consultant as Kansas’ Patricia Lightner

Monday, January 11th, 2010

“The congressman, because of his role as chair of House Republican Conference, is having to take to the national scene more,” senior adviser Bill Smith said. “He’s campaigning for members around the country to help Republicans win back to win the House. As a result, we needed to upgrade our political team.”

Politico — Coburn bucks party, backs Reid

Monday, January 11th, 2010

“Washington plays a game of gotcha,” Coburn said, according to the Tulsa World. “It pains me that Republicans are saying Harry Reid ought to step down. When you point a finger, you have four fingers pointing back at you. There is not anybody in Washington who has not said something that could be judged inappropriate and wrong.”

Mother Jones on Wall Street — Too Big to Jail?

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Link.

NY Times — NY Atty General Cuomo Demands Bonus Data From 8 Big Banks

Monday, January 11th, 2010

The letters to the banks – described on a conference call as the original recipients of federal aid – seek “extensive” information on how big the bonus pools are, how they were allocated and what clawback provisions and vesting periods are built in as checks and balances. The information is due Feb. 8.

Newsweek on the Recession Generation — Those entering the workforce now will likely make less and save more; not just in the short term but for the rest of their lives

Monday, January 11th, 2010

We all know the type of person who came of age in the Great Depression. They are the grandmothers and grandfathers who can’t use a tea bag too many times, yet are enjoying comfortable retirements in warm climates. And we know what the children of the 1950s are all about. They are the optimistic boomers who embodied an age of continual upward mobility and possibility.

Go East Young Man. Far East — Bill Frezza

Monday, January 11th, 2010

China is already a magnet for our consumer dollars as well as the leading underwriter of our runaway government debt. Did you know that China recently surpassed Germany as the world’s third-largest national economy and will soon overtake Japan to become the second-largest economy after the U.S.? Last year China had three times as many IPOs as the US, raising twice as much capital. Does anyone think these industrious people are going to start coasting any time soon?

NY Times — How the AOL-Time Warner Merger Went So Wrong

Monday, January 11th, 2010

A decade ago, America Online merged with Time Warner in a deal valued at a stunning $350 billion. It was then, and is now, the largest merger in American business history.

Rich Karlgaard — Twenty Trends For The 2010s

Monday, January 11th, 2010

1. Vegan Republicans
All-plant diets, proselytized so far mostly by PETA punks, Prius drivers, old hippies and Jack Lalanne, go mainstream. The Engine 2 diet portends the future.

2. Backlash Against the Unfit
In looks-obsessed America, it’s never been easy to be overweight. Now it’s going to get harder. The unintended consequence of ObamaCare will be a backlash against couch potatoes who drive up health care costs for the rest of us.

3. Male Osteorporosis Will Explode
Call it revenge upon the nerds, the unhappy result of sitting in front of a computer all day long, fizzy drinks at the ready.