May 7, 2004 Part 2
It is 11:15 pm as I am writing this, and we have certainly had some “movement”, but that is generous.
ü The Senate defeated the $108 million plan I just mentioned on a vote of 18-21. It was our last best chance to get real revenue to our schools.
Another plan surfaced that included a large chunk ($25 million) of the ending balance. Kansas is on a warning list for our credit ratings because we operate on so many bonds and run on such a low ending balance. $8 million kept us in good standing. $25 million would drop us below the crisis level with agencies like Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.
ü If Kansas’ bond rating is downgraded, all of the cities and counties also get the hit. In other words, it costs us a lot more to fund projects like I-35/69/87th Street…
ü The bill didn’t give enough to schools to get them through the year, and it failed by a vote of 110-13. I voted NO, as did the Education Republicans in Johnson County and statewide.
Currently, the Senate is working on a “funny money” plan. Their plan uses $77 million of the transportation program to fund education!!!! It really is funny, considering the bonding issue I just explained and how much time we spent this year fixing the transportation program because the legislature had been raiding it for years! We are at the point now that we must laugh because the alternative involves tears and four-letter-words. Ha ha.
The House is sick of waiting on the Senate, and we have adjourned for the night. Will return at 9:00 am tomorrow morning. Until then, sleep tight.