February 11, 2016

Rep. Mike Kiegerl hospitalized in Topeka

Danedri Thompson dthompson@gardnernews.com Rep. Mike Kiegerl is in a Topeka hospital after suffering a mini-stroke at the close of the legislative session yesterday. “They’re telling me I’m going to be OK,” Kiegerl said. Kiegerl, who represents Gardner, Edgerton and parts of Spring Hill and Olathe in the state legislature, said he wasn’t feeling well Feb. Continue Reading

EDITORIAL: The Gardner News offers its legislative agenda

Many entities, especially public or taxpayer funded entities, offer legislative agendas to elected officials. The agendas lay out items of concern and areas in which legislators may expect a visit from a lobbyist on their behalf. In many cases, the agendas of public entities work against the very individuals they claim to represent. For example, Continue Reading

Sunflower expansion hearing draws hundreds

Danedri Thompson dthompson@gardnernews.com Environmental and economic concerns clashed on Monday afternoon at a public hearing hosted by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). The hearing allowed citizens to document their concerns surrounding a draft environmental permit for the Sunflower Electric Corporation’s plans to build a 895-mega watt coal-fired plant in Holcomb, Kan. Initial Continue Reading

Guest Column: 1 cent sales tax right decision for state

By spreading the burden across nearly everyone, we reduced the amount any one individual pays into the system, and we protected the poorest Kansans from the brunt of this increase by including food tax rebates and income tax credits.

Column: NJ may surpass KS in fiscal responsibility

So what’s the difference between the two states? We’ll always have a beautiful landscape and friendly people. But let’s hope New Jersey doesn’t end up being the state with a better road to prosperity.

Editorial: Time to clean up Topeka big top

Legislators who represent Edgerton weren’t told of goodies in the transportation bill that boost BNSF to the tune of $35 million until a few days before the session ended. It’s not a giveaway as the funds must be repaid. However, some BNSF tax dollars are now dedicated to that project alone and can’t be used to balance the state budget. Those tax dollars through 2045 will not be available to maintain or even boost school funding. They won’t be used to provide services to the neediest of Kansas families. The waiting list for services for disabled Kansans remains. Those tax dollars won’t be used for services that benefit all or even most Kansans. Instead, they’ll be used to pay off loans on a project for a company that made more than $1 billion last year. Thanks, Kansas Legislature.

Governor considers cigarette tax increase

“The problem is spending too much money in Topeka for a number of years now,” Sontag said. “At the rate of spending they’ve been going at, they knew they would eventually be in a mess like this. I’m disappointed (the governor is) turning to individuals when the problem all along has been the legislature spending too much money.”