Kansas taxpayers were tapped $11,963 in July and another $5,600 last week by lawmakers attending events of the American Legislative Exchange Council – a supposedly nonpartisan group and bill mill that aims to “protect hardworking taxpayers,” among other goals. The latest trip follows October’s automatic 8.5 percent hike in per diem payments for all legislators and, of course, a legislative session that went 24 days into overtime and ended with a historic tax increase. Meanwhile, the state is paying a private firm as much as $2.6 million to look for ways to save money. A proposal by Rep. Virgil Peck, R-Tyro, that would require lawmakers to pay for their own conference travel looks better all the time. – Rhonda Holman
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