Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sam Brownback shuts Kansas Arts Commission behind Senate's back

Posted By on Wed, May 11, 2011 at 10:25 AM

click to enlarge One way or another, Brownback will get what he wants.
  • One way or another, Brownback will get what he wants.

The ugly political knife fight over the Kansas Arts Commission just got real. In his first months in office, Gov. Sam Brownback went on a government-slashing spree, shuttering and consolidating several agencies and offices. He ordered the commission to be closed and planned for a nonprofit to replace it.

But the state Senate rejected Brownback's move, keeping the Arts Commission open and eligible for all-important federal-grant cash. It probably felt like a slap in Brownback's face, but there didn't appear to be anything he could do about it. Then, with the help of legislative budget delays, Brownback found a creative way to get what he wanted.

See, budget negotiators have squirreled away $689,000 of state money to

get the KAC through the next fiscal year. But the budget hasn't passed

yet, and the governor can Wite-Out the funding with the line-item veto

anyway. In other words, with no funding bill passed and the governor's guillotine waiting, KAC employees

can carpool to the unemployment office.

Secretary of the Kansas Department of Administration, Dennis Taylor,

sent KAC's five employees letters yesterday, letting them know that they are

being terminated and the commission will be closing after all. The Topeka

Capital-Journal quotes Taylor's icy firing notes: "Given

the lack of funding, the agency positions

will be abolished resulting in total agency closure."

The news came as a bit of a surprise to KAC workers, who had assumed that

they were safe. Henry Schwaller, the chairman of KAC's board, told the

Cap-Journal that the government was jumping the gun. "This was a very hasty move that did not have to be done," he

told the paper, adding that the KAC has funding through this fiscal year,

which ends June 30. The employees were told that June 10 will be

their final day.

Well, nice try, Kansas Senate. You did an admirable thing in trying to

save the KAC. Remember this for next time: Nobody -- not even other

Republicans -- puts Brownback in the corner!



Follow The Pitch on Facebook and on Twitter @pitchplog.

Tags: , , , ,

Comments (24)

Showing 1-24 of 24

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-24 of 24

Add a comment

More by Ben Palosaari

Most Popular Stories

Slideshows

All contents ©2014 Kansas City Pitch LLC
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of Kansas City Pitch LLC,
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.

All contents © 2012 SouthComm, Inc. 210 12th Ave S. Ste. 100, Nashville, TN 37203. (615) 244-7989.
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of SouthComm, Inc.
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.
Website powered by Foundation