Chris Suellentrop, a New York-based journalist, shadowed his uncle, Rep. Gene Suellentrop, R-Wichita, during part of this past legislative session and got some insider access, which he wrote about in a long article for the New York Times Magazine. Some items and anecdotes of note:
▪ Tim Shallenburger, Gov. Sam Brownback’s legislative liaison, said that the budget crisis created an opportunity for conservatives to repeal the state’s school-finance formula.
▪ Rep. Suellentrop brainstormed with Dave Trabert, the president of the Kansas Policy Institute, about ways to cut funding for K-12 administration.
▪ “Uncle Gene” once did “the worm” dance move at a family wedding.
The journalist’s take on the session: Conservatives “hit bottom on the amount of government that could be cut,” yet many remain buoyed by the dream of zeroing out state income taxes. – Phillip Brownlee