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AFP-Kansas newsletter: Send us your tea party updates!

March 04, 2011 J

Legislative Update
Gov. Brownback, in response to a budget shortfall of nearly $500 million, has proposed eliminating the Kansas Arts Commission and transferring its functions to the Kansas Historical Society. The Arts Commission receives $750,000 in state taxpayer dollars annually. The Governor is proposing that approximately $550,000 be eliminated and used to help satisfy the budget shortfall. The remaining $200,000 would be appropriated to the Historical Society for the purpose of seeking grant monies.

In addition, the Governor has established the Kansas Arts Foundation, a non-profit, independent organization whose function will be to raise private donations for community art programs.

Regardless of the current budget situation, the role a taxpayer-funded state agency has in promoting the arts should be questioned. Art is in the eye of the beholder and taxpayers shouldn’t have their tax bills increased to fund the tastes of the Commission or the local groups it helps fund. Individuals and businesses that want to help promote and bring awareness to the arts have plenty of avenues in doing so through private organizations.

The full Senate will be debating this issue perhaps as early as next week. We encourage you to contact your Senator and ask them to support the Governor’s position on the Arts Commission. Take action now!

In other legislative news, the Kansas Health Care Freedom Amendment, HCR 5007, passed the House 91-27 and has moved to the Senate for consideration. We ask that you help us encourage the Senate to hold a hearing on this important legislation. Visit www.kansashealthcarefreedom.com to read the bill, sign the petition, and learn how your senator stands on this issue.

AFP Kansas Podcasts
Keep up with AFP Kansas whenever you like with our new podcast feature. We’ll record opinion pieces and commentary, and news updates during the legislative session and post them to our blog. All you have to do is visit our podcast page and choose the one you want to hear.

Tea Party Updates
Spring is – hopefully – just around the corner, which means it’s almost the season for Tax Day Tea Parties! If you have information about any April tea party plans, please pass them along to infoks@afphq.org so we can help get the word out about your local event.

In Hutchinson, there will be a tea party rally from 4pm to 9pm on Thursday, April 14 at the Hutchinson Sports Arena.

As we hear about more tea parties around the state, we’ll put them in our newsletters and post them online so please send us your tea party info!

Kansas Economic Freedom
This new web site, kansaseconomicfreedom.com, is a helpful new resource to help Kansans identify which legislators vote in favor of economic freedom, and which do not. Fiscal issues like taxes and spending will be included, but so will other freedom issues like smoking bans and seat belt laws. The votes from 2010 are online now, and I encourage you to check back to see the votes as the 2011 legislative session progresses.

KC Area Legislative Meet and Greet
Three Johnson County state representatives are hosting a meet and greet next week in Overland Park. Join Reps. Jim Denning, Amanda Grosserode and Greg Smith from 10am to 1pm Saturday, March 12 at Valley View United Methodist Church (8412 West 95th St., Overland Park). These representatives will be available to answer your questions and provide updates on legislation.

Linn County Grassroots Training
The Linn County Chapter of Americans for Prosperity-Kansas is hosting a grassroots training session in Mound City on Saturday, March 19. We will review the AFP Grassroots Handbook and discuss privatization of government functions.

Please join us at 1 p.m. March 19 at the Bunker Hill Community Building (6th and Main, Mound City) and get your own copy of our activist manual. Look for more details regarding this meeting in your inbox over the coming weeks!

For more information, contact AFP-Kansas field director Jim Mullins at jmullins@afphq.org or Linn County Chapter Leader Mary Wilson at redroofranch@yahoo.com.

Community Improvement District fails to gain approval in Wichita City Council
Wichita residents were the winners this week when the Wichita City Council failed to approve a Community Improvement District (CID) in the Eastgate shopping center.

The CID failed to gain approval from the majority of Wichita City Council members, effectively defeating the measure.

Citizen activist and Wichita resident John Todd testified before the city council prior to Tuesday’s vote.

“On the surface, giving a developer $18.5 million in sales tax revenue to rejuvenate this shopping area may seem like a worthy cause, but we must consider the people we would be asking to pay for it,” he said.

Todd pointed out that granting the CID would benefit just one developer, but he said stopping the proposal would mean an additional $18.5 million in purchasing power for thousands of Wichita consumers who could then spend, save, or invest that money as they chose. Read more

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