“Do you want to get that? That may be somebody with the answer.” — Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, speaking to a reporter from the Lawrence Journal-World, whose cellphone started ringing after he asked Hensley what plans the Democrats would be offering as an alternative to Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget proposals. Hensley would not give a specific answer.
“Why not? Lives on the bottom, eats garbage. Our #ksleg should be all in on that.” — Tom Witt, an LGBT rights activist, sarcastically commenting on Twitter about a House bill that would make the channel catfish the official state fish.
2,417,222: The number of medical claims denied by the state’s three KanCare providers from January 2014 through November, according to a state report released this month. It’s about 15.5 percent of all claims during that period.
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President Obama’s visit to the University of Kansas received more media attention than anything else happening in Kansas politics this week. Dozens of state Democratic lawmakers went to the event at KU’s Anschutz Sports Pavilion on Thursday. Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau, D-Wichita, gave the president her business card and invited him to visit Wichita.
Gov. Sam Brownback did not attend Obama’s event, which was a rally for the president’s progressive agenda, but did greet him Wednesday evening at the Topeka airport. After Obama’s speech, which touted universal child care, Brownback accused the president of promoting government dependency.
“He believes the government should care for your children,” Brownback said. “Kansans know that government should never be so big that it attempts to take the place of the family.”
Attorney General Derek Schmidt told the House Appropriations Committee that his office would appeal the recent decision by a three-judge panel that found the state’s funding for schools unconstitutionally insufficient and the case would end up back before the state’s Supreme Court in the near future.
Schmidt said he didn’t foresee the high court issuing a ruling before the end of the session, but he wouldn’t rule out the possibility. If the Supreme Court upholds the lower court’s decision the state could be on the hook for more than $500 million in additional school spending each year.
For more legislative news, go to www.kansas.com/politics and follow @BryanLowry3 on Twitter.