Kansas Democrats say GOP legislators not focused on economy

Republicans, who hold a significant majority in the state House of Representatives, are pushing issues that have little to do with improving the economy. At least that’s what Democrats in the Legislature say.

His party outnumbered 92-33, House Democratic Leader Paul Davis, of Lawrence, ticked off a long list of issues that Republicans muscled to the forefront just last week.

They include more abortion restrictions, increased regulation of sexually oriented businesses, an Arizona-like crackdown on illegal immigrants, decreasing a tax break for working poor families, eliminating the corporate income tax and trying to change the Kansas Constitution to put public schools and higher education under direct control of the governor, Sam Brownback, a conservative Republican.

“The extreme wing of the Republican Party has got the train moving at full speed,” Davis said.

The week before last, the House GOP took aim at unions, approving a bill that prevents unions from collecting dues through members’ paychecks that can be used for political purposes, and prohibiting public employee unions from endorsing candidates.

But House Speaker Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson, defended the House GOP’s work product.

He said it is not unusual for the House to advance many of its policy issues to the Senate while the committees are working on state agency budgets.

“Our caucus is very interested in drilling into these budgets,” O’Neal said. “They are still very focused on the fiscal side of the equation.” The state faces a nearly $500 million revenue shortfall for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

But Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley, of Topeka, said much of what House Republicans have pushed through hasn’t gained traction in the Senate even though Republicans in the Senate hold a 31-9 majority.

For example, he said, the proposed constitutional amendment by O’Neal to abolish the State Board of Education, whose members are elected, and Kansas Board of Regents, whose members are appointed, and create a Cabinet-level secretary of education would be “dead on arrival in the Senate.”

Voters, Hensley said, want legislators “to be doing things to create jobs.”

When asked to comment on the legislating going on over in the House, Senate President Steve Morris, a Republican from Hugoton, focused more on what was going on in the Senate.

He noted the Senate has approved bills dealing with workers’ compensation, unemployment compensation and business taxes. He also pointed out that Senate Republicans proposed an initiative to increase the number of engineers produced in Kansas, a plan that was also praised by Democrats.

“Our folks believe trying to work on providing additional jobs to the state should be our priority,” Morris said.

Davis said a defining moment of the 2011 legislative session occurred last week in the House during debate on the bill to add more restrictions to strip bars.

Democrats tried to amend the bill to make it easier to build a casino in southeast Kansas. Republicans blocked the measure.

“Instead of creating new jobs, extreme Republicans are playing morality police,” Davis said.

By Scott Rothschild

Comments

jdstew 3 years, 5 months ago

Scott - I have to wonder if you're not writing this article tongue-in-cheek. Tax breaks for businesses creates jobs. When businesses have more to spend, they love to hire people to make more widgets or offer more widget services. I see your humor - thanks.

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steve44 3 years, 5 months ago

Um, no. Demand creates jobs.

Did you see how all the businesses are sitting on piles of cash and NOT hiring people? By your logic, this would never occur... they have money, so they should spend it on jobs!

That's not right. The actual logic is "there's demand for my business that requires me to hire more people", and THEN jobs are created.

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YingYang 3 years, 5 months ago

Yes,... and NO.... You assume the company has enough people to keep up with the work load now... That's a big NO... nearly every company is undermanned. It's common for middle and upper management to be doing the work of a subordinate who was let go. They are doing 80+ hours a week. A little help would be welcome.... If they could afford it. Your logic is strong, but not fully thought trough.

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sansam 3 years, 5 months ago

Great, jdstew---The GOP got their tax breaks for the ultra wealthy... so where are the jobs?

The GOP has no solutions. They appear to be doing everything they can to keep the economy from improving.

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oonothing 3 years, 5 months ago

No and no. they have actually raised taxes on working families according to this article. History has proven again and again that corporate tax breaks don't translate to jobs unless they are being taken from another area where the tax rate is higher. So the best case scenario here is that jobs that already exist somewhere else will move to the state.
Companies will not hire till there is a need for more workers. Being that working people are paying more in taxes, they now have less to spend, there goes that option for jobs in retail or manufacturing unless it's being exported to some country where the tea party is not in control or is being marketed to wealthy people who have more than enough cash to spend.

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DonaldTrump 3 years, 5 months ago

Tick-Tock Tea Party! You're hearing the time pass away for YOUR time in office!

Kansas knuckle-heads may have voted you in thinking it was a GOOD thing, but now that they've seen you in action, are probably realizing that they MAY have been better off with the do-nothing Democrats!

What this country REALLY needs, is a CREDIBLE third party that puts the interests of the PEOPLE first, is OK with asking the "SUPER-ULTRA" rich to chip in their fair share (Hey Dems: "Super-Ultra" rich is NOT $250K!), puts FAIR restrictions and taxes on Corporations (Hey Corps: threatening to leave the country? How about: "Leave the country, and come under tax AND sales regulation?).

This country is TOO good to have any one special interest control it, or subject us to pork barrell spending. KANSAS: Teacher Unions are controlling the state? What about Fire and Police unions? "They're too important to regulate?" How about: "They're putting more idiot "Sarah Palins" on the street, and we can't afford NOT to pay them a fair wage and let them have collective bargaining!"

It seems that instead of treating "White Collar - Private Sector" employees fairly, the right wing wants to treat the Public Sector employee just as poorly! (Hey Public Sector: Remember when you guys didn't make a clamor when the Private Sector was being treated poorly and laid off?" It's coming back to bite you in the butt...isn't it?

Pretty soon, we're gonna go back to indentured servitude, and need one of those good ol' "Egyptian uprisings" to get our rights back!

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troutisme 3 years, 5 months ago

you have the party you need - it is called Democrat. get them to do something. they believe the same stuff you do

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YingYang 3 years, 5 months ago

"Leave the country, and come under tax AND sales regulation?).... And their other option is closing the doors when regulation makes it to expensive to sell at any profit. Now where did your tax base go>>>>>>>>> Now EVERYONE at that company is out of a job, even the order desk. Yep, that's so much better. Back off, and maybe they will come back. They go for a reason. Leashing them here wont help save them,(and jobs) only hurt. Fix the reason. That's logical.

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sansam 3 years, 5 months ago

yes, ying yang, and while we're at it, maybe we should gut all environmental regulations. not letting companies openly pollute our air land and water is harmful to the economy, dontchaknow?

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alamodefender 3 years, 5 months ago

you never hear a republican say "people want legislators to be creating jobs" politicians can't create jobs,they can get out of the way and let people create jobs. democrats want politicians to "save the day" with promises of what they can make happen,and are gullible enough to fall for it each time. democrats want a casino? that is telling. who do you always see spending their last five bucks on a lottery ticket?thats right ,some poor person. who is going to "contribute"their rent payment to the casino?step to the front of the class! dems are probably wondering still, "what did we do to become the minority"

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steve44 3 years, 5 months ago

Legislators can't create jobs. But they can create an environment that is friendly to job creation. These KS GOPers don't appear to be doing that.

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hek211 3 years, 5 months ago

This is rich...how many jobs has Obama created with the repeal of DADT and the Obama Care Boondoggle in the past two years?

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sansam 3 years, 5 months ago

I guess the GOP are proving they don't care about the economy or jobs. They just care about catering to the social-conservative base.

Where are the job's, GOP?

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jamespad29 3 years, 5 months ago

Well, if the Republican dominated house has done anything to restrict abortion in any way, you can expect to hear loud cries from Democrats. They love killing the unborn - having their lives ended before they see their first ray of light or to breathe their frist breath. Demos are proud of how they have kept in tact legilation that has taken the lives of over 50 million babies. Such a wonderful God-hnoring party - makiing sure they keep in place a mother's freedom to choose to murder her unborn baby! What a heritage! .

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Joe4more 3 years, 5 months ago

I especially like the fact that the GOP wants to make sure all pregnancies go full term, then when some of the mothers need social programs for help, the GOP says no! So lets bring "unwanted" pregnancies to full-term, then cut the social programs needed to support the noble cause of the morally superior Republican Party!

BTW jamespad29: Many people don't believe in God, eliminating the "moral" aspect of abortion......

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Joe4more 3 years, 5 months ago

Has the Kansas legislature always had a GOP majority? If not, time to get out and vote in 2012. Elections have consequences; the Dems sitting out the 2010 elections, knowing full well that the Tea Party was energized, proved to be a poor choice by Dems across the country! The GOP is focused on social issues, not jobs! The Republicans think the voters are more stupid than they are; did you see M. Bachmann botch up one of the most basic facts of our American folklore? The shot heard round the world apparently was fired in NH, not MA; the point is the politician didn't bother to check to see if her facts were correct because she doesn't care!!!! She like many in the Republican party are working from the assumption that the people are stupid; Ms. Bachmann proved that over the weekend.

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Joe4more 3 years, 5 months ago

To my liberal and progressive friends, a populist movement is what is needed to push back the Tea Party and the assault on the working poor and what is left of the middle class; go to:

http://www.dailymarkets.com/economy/2011/03/09/the-principles-of-the-peoples-party/

If you read Robert Reich, you will enjoy his article about the principles of the "people's" movement!

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DKs 3 years, 5 months ago

Can I suggest removal of Scott Rothschild from reporting in this DE SOTO newspaper. He is a biased democrat and there is one inflammatory post from him after another. A reporter is supposed to be objective. He is definitely not !!

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lherring 3 years, 5 months ago

The stories from Scott Rothschild are articles from the Lawrence Journal-World, the Explorer's sister newspaper, he is the statehouse reporter for the LJW. Because we don't have a political reporter on staff for the Explorer, we're too small for that, we've been including some of Scott's stories so that the people of De Soto can stay in the loop with Kansas politics.

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