Kansas GOP Spends Four Days Failing Extra Hard, Takes Well-Earned Four Day Weekend


As the people of Kansas head into the long weekend, they should take a moment to give thanks that their elected representatives are so dedicated to serving their needs. The state's fiscal year is winding down and legislators are still looking for a way to make Sam Brownback's mathematical delusions mesh with the real world, and taxpayers are shelling out over $40,000 a day for a special session because their representatives couldn't fix the governor-inflicted budget damage by the deadline.

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The state’s normal legislative session ended [May 15] without producing a bill to address the $765 million deficit for the fiscal year that begins this summer. Even assuming that legislators employ a handful of one-time fund transfers proposed by Brownback, there’s still over $400 million of ground to make up. Lawmakers are staying in Topeka to hammer out a deal, but there has been little progress so far in establishing a consensus on how to fill the gap. Even operating with a barebones staff, each extra day of the session is adding $43,000 to the wrong side of the cash-strapped state’s ledger.

Don't worry, Kansans: legislators are being smart with your money. After spending four extra days failing to do their jobs, they've stopped the clock on their overtime while they're out enjoying an extended holiday weekend. Republican leadership in the House and Senate adjourned about 3:00 Thursday afternoon, but they'll be back, sunburned and bloated and costing you $43K a day, on Tuesday to keep not solving your state's problems.

If House Bill 2435 is any indication, Kansas's heavily Republican legislature hasn't given up on scraping the last bit of pulp out of the melon rind of money that public schools have left. This proposal, which would supposedly reclaim $150 million in revenue, would end sales tax exemptions for contractors purchasing materials for public projects. With contractors bidding higher for jobs to account for the tax, public entities like school districts would have even less purchasing power with the meager funds the state will still throw them for new construction and repairs.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that "during a hearing Wednesday in the House Tax Committee, only Rodger Woods, with Americans for Prosperity, testified in favor of House Bill 2435." That's weird, since Americans for Prosperity never wants anyone to pay more tax for things. But Woods thinks making schools' contractors chip in would create a "perpetual motion machine" in which the state could take in more sales tax revenue that would then recirculate through different parts of the government. Would Kansas maybe give some of that revenue to the schools so they could still fix things when contractors are all charging more? Going on recent experience with Kansas Republicans, we are guessing not.

Rep. Kathy Wolfe Moore, D-Kansas City, pressed Woods on whether districts would have to cut back projects if they can’t pass along costs to taxpayers. Woods said it is likely they would have to do that.

“If you’re increasing the cost of the project by the sales tax, you have a finite budget, you’re going to have to cut back future projects. It seems like that has a negative effect on the economy, construction, jobs, all of that,” Wolfe Moore said.

Look, Kathy, everyone has to give up a little something to keep the state afloat. And before you go trying to repeal some of the ludicrously outsized income tax breaks that Gov. Brownback has handed to the state's top earners, try to have a little faith in GOP budget magic, which says the less-taxed rich will just be cold creating all the jobs the second one of their dollars is liberated from taxation.

And if a couple of years go by and your state's falling apart because that budget magic turns out to be a tattered trick top hat with a dead rabbit in its hidden compartment, just find some "efficiencies" to trim from your budget, like food for hungry kids and navigable roads. And while you're fighting over the details of that, take a break to give your state's chief voter suppressionist, Secretary of State Kris Kobach, some new powers to personally prosecute alleged voter fraud cases, since that's a key priority.

And if it gets past lunchtime the day before the four day weekend, don't get bogged down in some debate over taxes that holds the key to saving your state from financial ruin, since you might get stuck in traffic trying to get out of Topeka.

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend, Kansas Republicans! See you next Tuesday.

[ ThinkProgress / Topeka Capital-Journal ]

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Robbin Young. Fair use so we can all see the boob picture she sent to her 12 true loves.

Robbin Young starred in the Roger Moore masterpiece For Your Eyes Only as the seventh female lead, "Girl in Flower Shop." She also starred in a bunch of Playboys, and the DM's of a humble Romanian hacker who stole her heart. But he was not a humble Romanian hacker, he was 12 Russian military intelligence officers in a trench coat. And now Young has shared those DMs and pictures of her buzzies with the Sun, because that's the one that's fookin' classy.

See how she loved! See how Guccifer ghosted her ass! See how she loves him (them) still! See how she was all up in Seth Rich and shit! (We think Young's judgment might not be awesome.) Also she wrote this "erotic poem," and we're going to need you to read it.

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And now it is time for your weekly reminder that in the Trump era, FUCKING APESHIT OUTRAGE WORKS.

On Monday, Donald Trump, the transactional president who for some godforsaken reason sees Vladimir Putin has his one true father, discussed making an Art Of The Deal with Russia that involved letting Robert Mueller interrogate the Russian spies who hacked America in 2016 (with Russian supervision, of course, in Russia) in exchange for sending Putin whichever American citizens hurt Putin's poor fragile butthurt pansy-ass feelings the past several years. One of Putin's targets is Michael McFaul, the former ambassador to Russia, whom Putin just hates. Hillary Clinton isn't on the official list yet, but give it a few weeks.

On Wednesday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders looked at reporters and told them Trump's people were considering the idea, but hadn't decided yet, because it's so hard for the Trump administration to decide how many treasons to do per week.

But hooray! The White House has decided that, after literally every American with a patriotic bone in his or her body said, "THE FUCK YOU SAY," they will not send Americans to Putin's gulag after all. The Washington Post reports:

The White House announced Trump's opposition Thursday as the Senate prepared to vote on a resolution telling the president not to honor Putin's request, which would have exposed former U.S. ambassador Michael McFaul, among others, to Russian questioning.

"It is a proposal that was made in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

Oh my fucking Lord, Shuckabee, did you really type that Putin's offer was "sincere," or did Donald grab the statement after you finished with it and add those words in illiterate Sharpie in the margins, along with "DOES NOT MEAN PUTIN IS NOT MY BEST FRIEND" and "NO COLLUSION"?

By the way, that resolution passed the Senate with flying colors:

WOMP WOMP, Trump! Sorry American freedom and democracy stepped all over your dick again! Guarantee it's gonna happen again! Go fuck yourself! Enjoy the 48 Big Macs you have for dinner tonight! Don't talk directly into the soccer ball Putin gave you, 'less you want it to talk back to you in Russian!

OK post over.

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[Washington Post]

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