Check this spot on Sundays for a few quick hits about what’s driving the debate in the Legislature.
“Government software seems to have problems.”
– Gov. Sam Brownback, when asked about delays in processing Medicaid eligibility applications, which have been caused by glitches with the state’s software system.
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“So does marijuana, but they want to legalize that.”
– Rep. John Whitmer, R-Wichita, after another lawmaker warned that concussions can cause permanent brain damage during a floor debate on a bill to allow chiropractors to clear student athletes for play after a head injury.
That’s the percentage of Kansans who say they are dissatisfied with Gov. Sam Brownback’s job performance, according to a poll from Fort Hays State University released Friday.
Gov. Sam Brownback is not “feeling the Bern.”
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders criticized the Brownback during a Kansas City rally Wednesday, saying “in Kansas, you’ve got a governor who likes to beat up on the poor.”
The governor called a news conference the next day to push back on Sanders’ criticism. He touted a study that found average incomes for able-bodied Kansans who left food stamps under changes enacted by Brownback saw their incomes rise by 127 percent. The governor’s critics pointed out that the study, from a free-market think tank called Foundation for Government Accountability, shows the average annual income for an individual rose from $2,453 to $5,562, still far below federal poverty level of $11,770.
Brownback’s office carried the tiff with Sanders into the weekend, sending out an e-mail Saturday saying the Vermont senator’s statements were “rife with error” and “plucked from the parallel universe.”
The Kansas presidential caucuses take place Saturday. Expect a lot of politicking from members of the Legislature on behalf of candidates from both parties and from Brownback, who recently endorsed U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
— Bryan Lowry
For more legislative news, go to www.kansas.com/politics and follow @BryanLowry3 on Twitter.