Lawmakers Pass Block Grant Bill to Fund Schools
TOPEKA | The Kansas Legislature has approved a bill that supports a solution to the broken school finance system that has diverted money away from classrooms and tied the hands of school administrators statewide for 23 years.
The House passed the measure Friday 64 to 57 and Senate followed suit Monday (March 16) by passing the bill 25-14. The governor is expected to sign the bill.
Most Johnson County lawmakers voted for the bill_ Substitute for Senate Bill 7.
House Backs Election ReformThe House on Thursday (Feb. 26) passed HB 2104 that would update the state’s election law dealing with ballot vacancies. Current law allows a candidate to have his or her name removed from the ballot by the Secretary of State if he or she becomes incapable of fulfilling the duties of the office sought.
Education Bills Move Forward
The Kansas Senate approved a bill Thursday (Feb. 26) that defines current contract negotiation terms between boards of education and teacher organizations.
The measure, SB 136, now moves to the House, which approved its own broader bill Thursday 109 to 14.
Keeping Obscenity Out of Classrooms
Under Senate Bill 56, which passed the upper chamber Thursday (Feb. 26), parents would have a place to complain if their children were exposed to obscene material in school.
Freedom from Unsafe Restraint
The House approved a bill Thursday (Feb. 26) creating the Freedom from Unsafe Restraint and Seclusion Act.
It would provide that no child with a disability could be subjected to unreasonable, unsafe, or unwarranted use of physical restraint or seclusion rooms.
School spending up, taxes down in OlatheSome naysayers said Kansas legislators couldn’t cut taxes and increase school spending at the same time. Well, they were wrong. In addition to cutting taxes, Republican conservatives have increase school spending every year that Sam Brownback has been governor.
Economic Reforms in Kansas working for Olathe
A Recent History of Kansas School Funding
Here’s what happened when a large influx of federal stimulus money was provided to the state for schools during the “Great Recession” and what happened when it went away.
Rep. Keith Esau spoke recently to the Sunflower Republican Club regarding the bill to move spring elections to the fall. (Video by Jim Sullinger Strategies LLC)
Spring Elections Would Move to Fall
The Senate approved a bill Friday (Feb. 27) that would move municipal elections from March to August for primary elections and April to November for general elections. The vote was 21-18.
This shift would make our local elections uniform with our state and national elections. Local elections would remain nonpartisan.
Under the Senate’s version, local elections would be held in odd-numbered years beginning in 2017. One exception was provided.
Cities could hold an election in even-numbered years for the purpose of staggering terms of office or having three-year terms of office.
By moving the elections, supporters said voter turnout would be increased substantially and more candidates will participate in the election process. Spring elections normally garner very low turnout.
A similar bill has been introduced in the House. It would also allow voters to mark a “straight line” party ticket, thus saving time at the polls.
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