Archive for May 25th, 2011

Brownback office – Governor signs KPERS bill

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Governor Signs KPERS Bill

Topeka-Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed Senate Sub. for House Bill 2194 into law today during a ceremony in the Governor’s Ceremonial Office in the State Capitol. The new law begins addressing the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System’s nearly $8 billion shortfall by modifying the retirement plan for both current and future public employees of state, school, and local groups.

The new law establishes a 13-member KPERS Study Commission to consider alternative retirement plans, including defined contribution plans, hybrid plans that could include a defined contribution component, and other possible plans.

“This bipartisan compromise takes immediate steps towards retirement security for Kansas families who rely on KPERS,” Governor Brownback said. “However, according to independent analysts, the structure of KPERS remains unsustainable. The commission needs to protect existing beneficiaries and move towards a defined contribution system for all new state employees in order to restore balance and security to KPERS. Adoption of such recommendations will be a top priority for the next legislative session.”

The Commission will report its recommendations to the 2012 Legislature who will consider two identical bills in each chamber. Each chamber must vote on the identical bills in 2012 before other provisions in HB 2194 will be implemented. Those provisions require:

* Increased employer contributions;
* Increased employee contributions;
* Increased benefit multiplier for future service; and
* Transfer 80% of the proceeds from the sale of surplus state real estate to KPERS to reduce the unfunded liability.

The new law also requires a decision from the Internal Revenue Service as to whether current state employees can choose to change their retirement benefits.

The Governor signed three additional bills during the ceremony:

HB 2054: This new law abolishes the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation (KTEC) and divides its duties and responsibilities between Kansas Department of Commerce and the Kansas Board of Regents.

Sub. SB 154: This new law allows the University of Kansas School of Engineering to issue $65 million in bonds for phase two of its expansion project. It also transfers the bonding authority for the state’s NBAF-related expenses from the Kansas Biosciences Authority to the Kansas Department of Administration and requires the State Finance Council’s approval before they can be issued.

Sub SB 127: This new law creates the University Engineering Initiative Act to increase the number of engineering graduates at the University of Kansas, Kansas State University and Wichita State University. It equally distributes $10.5 million as part of a $1 for $1 match by the three universities. It directs the Commerce Secretary to work with the Board of Regents and the schools to develop a plan to target engineering education efforts to fuel economic growth and business success in Kansas.

Today’s signings bring the total number of bills signed into law to 96. You can find additional information about these bills at http://www.kslegislature.org. .

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Americans United for Life on Gallup poll – The Media Has It Wrong on Abortion

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

The Media Has It Wrong:
Majority of Americans “reluctant” about abortion and ready to support restrictions on the abortion industry

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A 2011 Gallup poll released this week caused quite a media stir. For the first time in recent years, Americans identifying themselves as “pro-choice” slightly outnumbered those who consider themselves pro-life. But a closer reading of the data reveals why the abortion lobby’s spin of the data is actually misinformation.

The report concluded, “Majorities of Americans indicate some reluctance about abortion on both moral and legal grounds.” In fact, the report indicated broad support for restricted abortion.

Key findings included facts such as:

  • 51 percent of Americans believe abortion is morally wrong while only 39 percent believe it is morally acceptable.
  • 60 percent of political Independents are evenly divided on the moral correctness of abortion, but tilt “fairly strongly toward restrictive abortion laws.” In fact, 60 percent of Independents believe abortion should be legal in “few or no circumstances.”
  • 61 percent of all Americans believe that abortion should be legal in “only a few circumstances or no circumstances” while only 37 percent want abortion legal “in all or most circumstances.”

Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest observed that this study debunked a huge myth promulgated by the abortion industry.

“The American people support regulations and common sense checks and balances to protect women and girls’ lives, and to respect the life in the womb,” noted Dr. Yoest. “With 61 percent of the American people hoping for life affirming policy, AUL looks forward to partnering with them.”

To read the entire poll, go here.

To read common sense regulations of the abortion industry, check out AUL’s model legislation.

For further commentary on this, read AUL’s analysis here

Op-Ed, Americans for Limited Government – National Labor Board Overreach Comes Under House Scrutiny

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

NLRB Overreach Comes Under House Scrutiny,

ALG Praises House Education & Workforce Committee

May 25, 2011, Fairfax, VA-Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today issued a statement praising House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Chairman Rep. Phil Roe for holding a hearing on the NLRB’s attempt to block Boeing from opening a new plant in South Carolina on May 26:

“Representative Phil Roe deserves the thanks of the people of South Carolina, and all Americans who oppose a federal agency from trying to tell a company which state it must do business in.  The House Subcommittee on Labor hearing will bring the NLRB’s overreach against Boeing under much-needed scrutiny, and ascertain why the NLRB is favoring closed shop union states like Washington over right-to-work states like South Carolina.  The NLRB is willing to kill new jobs unless they are union jobs.  This out-of-control rogue agency needs to be brought to heel.”

Attachments:

“NLRB to Boeing: Shut up!” By ALG President Bill Wilson, The Daily Caller, May 13, 2011 at http://dailycaller.com/2011/05/13/nlrb-to-boeing-shut-up/

Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at rrast@getliberty.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.

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Americans United for Life – Ohio Court win in abortion-inducing drug case could have “national impact”

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

AUL SAYS OHIO FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT WIN IN ABORTION-INDUCING DRUG CASE COULD HAVE “NATIONAL IMPACT”

WASHINGTON, D.C. (05-25-11) – A first-in-the-nation law that restricts the abortion industry’s use of abortion-inducing RU-486 survived another round this week in a case that began 7 years ago. A federal district court in Ohio ruled that the law was “not vague” but could be readily understood by the abortion providers industry. Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest noted that AUL has twice argued that position in two separate amicus briefs during the protracted legal battle and predicted the case would have “national impact.”

“The abortion industry has cavalierly given abortion-inducing drugs to women against FDA protocols,” said Dr. Yoest. “The courts affirmed the right of states to protect women by requiring proper use of these dangerous drugs. And AUL model legislation on the regulation of RU-486 has been made available nationwide with that protection.”

The Ohio regulation in dispute requires abortion providers to comply with the FDA- approved protocol for the drug. On its own website, Planned Parenthood freely admits that RU-486 is given to women who are further along in their pregnancies than the FDA recommends. Ohio enacted the regulation in 2004 after women across the nation died or were severely injured following such “off-label” use of RU-486.

To read AUL’s amicus briefs in support of the Ohio law, one before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and one before the Ohio Supreme Court, click here. In both instances, AUL represented members of the U.S. Congress who supported the regulation, including current Speaker of the House John Boehner.

For more information on RU-486 and AUL’s model act regulating abortion-inducing drugs, go here.

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Fox 4 KC – Royals’ Paul Splittorff Dies of Cancer

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

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KU news – New measures position KU to address state shortage of engineers

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

New measures position KU to address state’s shortage of engineers

http://www.news.ku.edu/2011/may/25/engineering.shtml

LAWRENCE – Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback today signed into law two measures that will enable the University of Kansas School of Engineering to address the state’s growing need for engineers. (more…)

Capital-Journal – Rwandan genocide trial in Wichita reaches closing arguments

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

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AP – Kansas takes 126 patients from Joplin area

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

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Taking down liberal Republican Richard Lugar – National Review interview with Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock, leading “a rebellion inside the walls”

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

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Robert Costa at National Review – Herman Cain is in it to win the 2012 race

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

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Former New York City school leader Joel Klein – The Failure of American Public Schools

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

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AP – Twitter buys popular application Tweetdeck

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

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Gov. Tim Pawlenty speaks to Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

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Jay Cost – A strong field of Republican presidential candidates, “the view is not good for President Obama and the Democrats”

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

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Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that 25% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Thirty-five percent (35%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -10 (see trends).
The president holds a 45% to 44% edge over a Generic Republican in an early look at 2012. Republicans hold a two-point advantage over Democrats on the Generic Congressional Ballot.

Video, Liberal Congressman Henry Waxman On Paul Ryan Medicare Plan: People Will Be Dumped Out Of Nursing Homes

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

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Obama grounds space program – Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell, and Gene Cernan op-ed in USA Today

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

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Vanity Fair – The Huffington Post’s version of the Mark Zuckerberg-Facebook lawsuit

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

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BBC – Egyptian pyramids found by infra-red satellite images

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

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AP – Federal prosecutors may indict former Democratic Senator John Edwards within days

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

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