Aimee Patton

A pleasantly eccentric take on politics

Welcome-to-Kansas

It’s the end of the year and before we pop the champagne and kiss the person next to us, lets take a look back at 2015. Oh Kansas – 2015 was one crazy legislative ride. It had more drama than a Kardashian Thanksgiving. From same-sex marriage to education funding there was a fight at every turn and no one came out a winner.

Lets take a look back at my top 5 stories from 2015 before we wrap up this bad boy and move on to the insanity that I predict is to come in 2016.

Drum roll please……

I give you Aimee’s best and worst (well mostly worst) Kansas legislative stories from 2015:

(in no particular order)

1. We all know that Kansas loves to play doctor when it comes to lady parts, but this year Kansas lawmakers tried also to play psychiatrist with SB 123 – a law that was going to regulate what mental illness medications could be prescribed to people on Medicaid. https://pleasantlyeccentric.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/my-kansas-cheer-for-the-week-gimme-a-b-gimme-a-r-oh-hell-gimme-a-break/

It all came down to money over need with this outrageous bill. Thank goodness this bill didn’t pass, but the fact that lawmakers tried introduced this insane bill had me wondering if they needed some mental illness medication themselves.

2. Guns, guns and more guns – if there was a law to regulate guns in any way Kansas repealed it. We are one step away from requiring every Kansas citizen to have a gun. Wait! Strike that. I don’t want to give our lawmakers any ideas.

Weapons training? We don’t need no stinking weapons training here in Kansas. If you don’t live in Kansas and think of Kansas as the Wild West – SB 45 confirmed it.

Kansas has some of the most liberal gun laws in the United States. Welcome to the NRA’s promised land.

https://pleasantlyeccentric.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/sad-day-in-ks-gov-brownback-signs-gun-law-sb-45/

3. As Kansas lawmakers found themselves at a record number of days in session with a budget crisis on their hands – one lawmaker decided that would be a peeerrrfffeeeccttt time to take a vacay! Senator Arpke went on an Alaskan Cruise while other lawmakers were hunkered down in Topeka hashing our budget crisis out. I decided he must have went to pan for gold to solve our Kansas budget woes. Why else would he pick the worst time to get away for a little R&R?

https://pleasantlyeccentric.wordpress.com/2015/05/29/ks-senator-arpke-fixes-state-revenue-crisis-in-a-unique-way/

4. One of my favorite bills of 2015 (and by favorite I mean worst bills)- the “we hate poor people” bill that humiliated Kansas poor by restricting them to $25 ATM withdrawals and provided a laundry list of items that our Kansas disadvantaged were not allowed to do if they received welfare. The most famous item was no cruises, because people are lining up to take expensive cruises when they can barely make rent. Also on the list – no fortune tellers, tattoo parlors or spending money at swimming pools. The federal government had to step in and remind them that they can’t make restrictions like the $25 withdrawal limit.

https://pleasantlyeccentric.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/poor-people-in-kansas-restricted-from-taking-cruises-because-we-all-know-poor-people-take-cruises/

5. Brownback came out on top in 2015 – for the worst approval rating of any Governor in all 50 states. The next closest was Bobby Jindal and there was a 9% difference.

https://pleasantlyeccentric.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/kansas-governor-sam-brownback-finally-comes-out-on-top/

7% of Kansans approve of the job that Brownback is doing. You have to ask yourself – who the hell are these 7%? Kansas education used to be fully supported and well-funded – it now resembles a WWE match with #FundTheFormula on one side and block grants on the other. I keep hearing the announcer yelling, “Lets get ready to rumble!” every time I see education as a topic on the #ksleg twitter feed.

Then you have the Kansas revenue crisis. I think the last figure I heard was that we were about a gazzillion dollars in the hole from Brownback’s tax cuts. Brownback keeps telling us that everything is A-Ok meanwhile we don’t have enough money to cover basic services (heads up – I would stay off our highways if I were you) and everyone is stressed out. I think the plan in 2016 is to replace the water coolers in Topeka with vodka just to get through the next session, because this problem isn’t going away any time soon.

Well that’s my top 5 best/worst of 2015. I look forward to the same drama in 2016 and the good news is I’ll be here all year to cover it.

Thank you so much for reading. I wish you all the best for a happy and healthy New Year!

Aimee

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10 thoughts on “Aimee’s Top 5 Kansas Legislative Stories of 2015

  1. blogenfreude1 says:

    Can you recall this motherfucker? He is asking for it ….

    1. Aimee Patton says:

      He may be extremely unpopular, but I really don’t think there is anything we can do to recall him. I think we just have to wait this shit storm out. Aimee

      1. Lynn R. Smith says:

        To the comment about recalls of office holders in Kansas. Nearly impossible. It is complicated in Kansas I looked into this and there is a Face Book group that tried to get something started and found it out it was a huge hassle.

        Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2015 21:08:44 +0000 To: lynnrsmith@hotmail.com

  2. RedPlusBlue=PurpleHaze says:

    Happy Holidays to Aimee Patton! May you and your family be blessed with excellent health and prosperity in 2016.
    My New Year’s resolution is to withhold comments from your blog, which I’m sure will leave you heartbroken. Cheers!

    1. Aimee Patton says:

      Happy holidays to you. I am very, very heartbroken. Have a wonderful 2016.

  3. Lynn Smith says:

    You should checkout Sen. Forrest Knox, R-Altoona, as he was able to make switchblades legal in Kansas in 2014. They had been banned for many years. And yes Knox was one of the big proponents on expanding gun rights in Kansas. Knox has also tried to get a law passed the would give preferential treatment to foster care parents if they met certain criteria. If the criteria was met, those families would get more money as a foster care parent. I have visited with Knox in the pass at some political forums. I don’t know if his wife and him currently are foster parents but they have been in the past. He seems be one of those who would easily meet the prescribed criteria in his proposed bill.

    Besides Senator Apke, there was Sen. Ty Masterson, R-Andover, who skip out before the legislative session was over in 2015. He went on a supposed preplanned business trip but he took some of his or all of his family. Later he said he wanted to give his daughter a chance to get her feet wet in the ocean (really its the Gulf of Mexico). Hmmm, business trip? He never said what kind of business trip he want on.

    He did something like that before back in 2014. The legislative had not come to an end but he left early to take his wife to Jamaica for their 20th wedding anniversary. He never really told anyone why and where he was going. The then publisher of the Butler County Times-Gazette, Kent Bush, wrote a commentary about it titled, “Teachers get burned, Masterson gets a tan.” Masterson is the chairman of the Ways and Means (or budget) Committee in the senate.
    The link:
    http://www.butlercountytimesgazette.com/article/20140407/Opinion/140409479

    Lynn Smith
    Augusta, KS.

    1. Aimee Patton says:

      Hi Lynn – so many politicians behaving poorly. Wish I could write about all of them. Send me your thoughts in 2016 and I may incorporate it into my blog posts 🙂 Happy New Year and thanks for reading. Aimee

      1. Lynn Smith says:

        The legislative year 2016 in Kansas will be interesting. I follow several Face Book pages such as Game on for Kansas Schools, Johnson County Educators, Kansas Families for Education, Women for Kansas, and the Moderate Party for Kansas. They all link news articles about what is going on in state politics from various newspapers in the state beyond the Wichita Eagle, Topeka Capital Journal, and the KC Star. They also post stories from the papers like the Garden City Telegram, the Hays Post, the Prairie Village Post and some others from Scott City to Clay Center.

        I follow the politics closer than most people. Some of the ones in the legislature are stuck in an ideological world and nothing else matters. They are in a narrow focused world to shape state government in their own little philosophical world. It is a world centered around Sam Brownback and Ray Merrick. Some in education have referred to what is happening as a war on education. One of the primary starts was with the teacher tenure issue in 2014 and that is what Kent Bush was referring to in his commentary I linked in my first comment above.

        Sen. Ty Masterson will say one thing in public but plays a different tune in private and when he may speak to his echo chamber people, the ones who only agree with him. Kent Bush addressed that echo chamber issue in one of his columns once.

        This is the echo chamber commentary by Kent Bush. He is now the publisher of the Shawnee Statesman in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

        http://www.butlercountytimesgazette.com/article/20131001/NEWS/131009862/0/

        This is on page two of the link above: “The moral of the story is talking only to others who agree with you, reading only press clippings that support your arguments and only listening to radio shows that you agree with is great for your day-to-day emotional well-being.”

        “But don’t let the echo chamber fool you into thinking everyone is on the same page.”

        I just wish Kent Bush was still in Kansas as he was running circles around Masterson.

  4. Susan Simmons says:

    Love your column. It needs to make the FB rounds more often. Poor Ty. Good one.

    A fellow WJC grad

    1. Aimee Patton says:

      Thanks for commenting! Love WJC-Aimee

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