Revenue drop – Kansas’ nosedive in tax collections largely came courtesy of a governor and his fellow ultraconservative Republicans who saw erasing the state income tax as a way to lure people and businesses and fuel economic growth. But instead of delivering the “shot of adrenaline” into the Kansas economy as the governor promised, the tax-cut plan that exempts owners of more than 190,000 partnerships, sole proprietorships and other businesses from state income taxes is choking the budget. State officials claim the shortfalls are temporary, but that seems unlikely. The question is how dire the financial situation could become.
Garden City Telegram
Clinic closing – When Planned Parenthood announced it was going to close its Hays health center, the response from Kansans for Life was telling. “This is a big positive move for the Hays community,” said David Gittrich, state development director for the group. “Having a baby is a blessing, not a curse, and any organization that promotes or refers for abortions should be closed. They’re not really helping women.” With all due respect, the KFL official is wrong. The Hays Planned Parenthood does help women – and men for that matter. And young adults of both sexes. The local clinic does not provide abortion procedures. It never has in its 38-year history. But it has helped thousands of individuals with tests for sexually transmitted diseases, birth control, emergency contraception for patients 17 and older, pregnancy tests and health care for both men and women. Planned Parenthood’s Hays clinic provides invaluable services that cannot all be absorbed or accommodated by public providers.
Hays Daily News
Tiahrt, Pompeo – Former U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt smiles easily and is down-to-earth. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, is friendly, though a little full of himself. But Pompeo has the Kochs behind him and has positioned himself as a new, libertarian conservative – about where the Grand Old Party seems to be headed. Pompeo will be hard to beat in a Republican primary, which is where Tiahrt is taking him on. In the next 60 days, we will see how much fire is still burning among Tiahrt’s grassroots supporters. And we will see how well Pompeo can come home and ask for votes.
Winfield Daily Courier
Mental health – The dedication of any new state funds to programs that serve Kansans with mental illness is good news, but Gov. Sam Brownback’s $9.5 million mental health initiative falls well short of restoring the funding that the state’s community mental health centers have lost in recent years.
IUDs – Stop us if you’ve heard this one: Three men – a former plumbing contractor, a man who has illegally operated a car-crushing operation, and an advertising salesman – walk into a bar no, wait, they conduct a public meeting on women’s reproductive health. If you think this sounds like the opening line of a joke, you’re right. But it actually happened at a Saline County Commission meeting. Chairman Randy Duncan and Commissioners John Price and Jim Gile discussed whether the county should apply for a $6,064 federal grant to supply IUDs for women who use the services at the Saline County Health Department. In a discussion of the grant at the May 20 commission meeting, Price called the use of IUDs murder. This is only partly a matter of who’s right about biology. The main problem is that three unqualified men are publicly discussing and making decisions on women’s reproductive health without knowing any more than the average man on the street. This is beyond nutty. It’s irresponsible.