Education reform in Kansas
Until recently, the facts about education spending in Kansas weren’t well known. For example, taxpayers are surprised to learn that total per-pupil spending on Kansas K-12 students averaged $12,225 in FY2010. The powerful education lobby never acknowledges this; rather, it focuses on only a portion of the total that is contributed by state taxpayers. The rest comes from local and federal taxpayers, and each district plans budgets with the total funding.
One key point of discussion at our forums has been the amount of carryover cash/unencumbered funds that Kansas school districts have compiled but not used. Find out how much our local districts have stockpiled. >>
Get educated about education in Kansas by studying the facts about K-12 spending, student achievement and state and federal mandates. Explore the facts and potential solutions here. >>
KPERS dependency threatens state fiscal health
Within the last two years, 2,200 government jobs have been created in Kansas, while the private sector has lost 66,700 positions. In addition to taxpayers footing the bill for the creation of these additional government jobs, the State Employee Pay Plan Oversight Committee yesterday approved a pay raise of $15.524 million that will be extended to roughly 8,662 state employees. The state general fund has $8.5 million earmarked for the increase in pay and the remainder will come from other revenue sources such as fee funds, according to the Kansas Legislative Research Department.
As the public sector and its salaries continue to grow, so does the dependence on the state’s pension plan, KPERS. In Kansas, state employees, judges, firemen and police
officers receive their pension through the KPERS program, a defined-benefit retirement program in which
benefits are determined through a formula and guaranteed by law. Read more about the looming crisis with the KPERS fund. >>
Rep. Donohoe is working hard to limit the growth of government and the rise of excessive property taxes and levies. Hard-working families fear being taxed out of their
homes; Owen will fight for legislation and policies that let you keep more of what you earn. He is helping small businesses thrive in Kansas, creating a greater revenue-producing economy that will help reduce taxes.
Rep. Donohoe is a member of the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee and is involved in many issues affecting local residents and businesses. Several property & annexation issues are being debated in the current legislative
session, and Owen is rightly concerned about the rights of property owners and taxpayers. He is working to ensure ballot protection for property owners in cases of unilateral annexation. In addition, Eminent domain threatens generations of families and businesses in our district. Government should not have the right to seize other people's property to lure favored developers.
The energy project proposed for western Kansas is predicted to bring a $5.7 billion economic impact to Kansas during these difficult economic times. The professional staff at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (following the guidance of the Kansas Air Quality Act and the federal Clean Air Act) recommended approval of Sunflower Energy’s permit for the Holcomb plant expansion. The emission levels from these plants will be the cleanest in Kansas and in the region. In fact, once built, the Holcomb Expansion units may well be the cleanest in the entire nation. Learn more >>
Support for life and ethical stem-cell research
Rep. Donohoe supports legislation protecting life and providing information and counseling for expectant mothers. He supported recent abortion counseling legislation that gives mothers considering abortion an opportunity to see a sonogram of her baby and have access to counseling assistance.
Lawful treatment of illegal immigrants
By treating people with dignity and respect, we show compassion and understanding. But entering America illegally and breaking the law encourages disrespect for our laws. Rep. Donohoe opposes in-state tuition for illegal immigrants and favors increased U.S. border security.