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Medicaid expansion discussion should be based on reality not promises of "free money" from Washington.


Patrick Parks talks about Medicaid expansion and Obamacare in Kansas
kansaspolicyinstitute.podbean.com
Kansas residents who are already paying more for health insurance will also pay much more to fund an expansion of Medicaid. Patrick Parks, a fiscal policy analyst at the Kansas Policy Institute, talks about research KPI and other organizations have done in...
Fri, 20 Mar 2015 19:05:57 +0000
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Kansas' school finance system does little to serve our children. Instead it focuses on institutions. We need a student-focused, transparent formula that requires the efficient use of taxpayer money.


Legislature Considers Changes to School Funding Formula
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Dave Trabert, president of Kansas Policy Institute, talks about the state's K-12 school funding formula. The Kansas Legislature is considering block-grant funding schools for the next two years while they take a deliberative look at rewriting the formula....
Thu, 12 Mar 2015 15:10:07 +0000
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Kansas schools on track to receive $6 billion this year, setting a new funding record for the 4th consecutive year.

http://www.kansaspolicy.org/KPIBlog/125226.aspx
Mon, 09 Mar 2015 16:43:11 +0000
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Kansas' Unemployment Rate - The Good and The Bad
Posted by Todd Davidson on Tuesday, December 11, 2012
If only we could derive our economic health by looking solely at the unemployment rate.  This simplistic view certainly has its perks – namely our economy would be easier to understand – unfortunately, without knowing the unemployment rate can decline for adverse reasons one can be misled into thinking some unhealthy economies are healthy.

The Unemployment Rate = (Number of Unemployed Persons)/(Labor force) – that is, if a state has 5 unemployed individuals and 100 people in the labor force the unemployment rate is 5%.

Mathematically the unemployment rate can decline three ways:

  1. The Number of Unemployed Persons declines while the Labor Force is unchanged or increases (Good)
  2. The Number of Unemployed Persons remains unchanged or decreases while the Labor Force increases (Good)
  3. Unemployed declines at least as fast as the Labor Force declines (Probably Bad)

#1 and #2 are good because new jobs were created.  #3 is bad because the unemployed person just gave up (or moved to another state).  Complicating the matter further, depending on which time frame is chosen; one can see all three instances.  In order to determine if jobs were created we need look at the change in the number of employed.  

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics from September 2012 to October 2012 the number of employed persons increased from 1,396,552 to 1,400,956 in Kansas.  This means the unemployment rate dropped because jobs were created not because workers dropped out of the labor force.

Looking back further from October 2011 to October 2012 we see employment is actually down 7,725 jobs – meaning the unemployment rate is lower than 2011 because unemployed individuals dropped out of the labor force.  

That means we’re in situation #3 above – not good for the people who either given up looking for work or given up life in Kansas to seek a job elsewhere. It also is not good for the state as we have fewer people working, investing, living, and paying taxes in The Sunflower State.

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