Kansas Conservative Coalition Delivers Manifesto

Dec 2, 2013

Credit kansastravel.org

Kansans for Liberty shared a manifesto containing ten items they hope will shape debate in the upcoming legislative session reported Tim Carpenter for The Topeka Capital-Journal.

Elements of the coalition platform are:

■ Taxation: Limit property tax abatement to 50 percent, eliminate the individual income tax, phase out in five years a state business development program granting 10 percent income tax credits and sales tax exemptions, and drop the sales tax exemption on services.

■ Education: Redefine "adequate education" in the Kansas Constitution, ban Common Core academic standards in K-12 public schools, authorize state-issued vouchers for private education, and block school districts from using tax revenue to promote bond issues.

■ Abortion: Prohibit abortions in Kansas after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which could mean a ban on the procedure less than three weeks beyond conception.

■ Environment: Repeal a state plan to generate 20 percent of electricity in Kansas from "green" sources, such as wind.

■ Workplace: Privatize the Kansas Public Employees Retirement system and prohibit collective bargaining by public employees.

■ Judicial: Form a committee of the Kansas Legislature to investigate malfeasance by the judicial branch and develop an enhanced recall process for judges.

■ Fluoride: Dictate operators of public water supply systems to include on bills a reference to research purporting to show the additive causes mental and physical impairment.

■ Elections: Move all city and school board elections to November to enhance partisan interest in those ballots.

Craig Gabel, president of the Wichita-based organization of political conservative and tea party enthusiasts, said coalition members were prepared to fight for restraint of the Kansas Department for Children and Families' capacity to remove children from biological parents. The agency's mission should be to "preserve families, not protect children," the coalition's policy statement said, and failure by the department to reach family reunification targets should result in state funding cuts.

The coalition also wants to repeal a nearly 10-year-old state law allowing illegal immigrant students who graduate from Kansas high schools and have lived in Kansas for at least three years to pay in-state tuition at public universities and community colleges.  

House Minority Leader Paul Davis, a Lawrence Democrat running for governor,  said,  “This is just one organization, but it is emblematic of a larger problem plaguing Kansas government in recent years. These uncompromising, extreme positions are embraced by some lawmakers. Kansans want leaders who will work together to find moderate, common-sense solutions to our problems. Rhetoric like this does not help restore that value."