Don in the News

Even After Tax Hikes, Kansas Budget ‘Fix’ Remains Elusive
1 Nov 2017 at 9:45pm

After wrestling to balance the budget for years, Kansas lawmakers bit the bullet this spring and agreed to undo many of Gov. Sam Brownback’s signature 2012 tax cuts.  The question now is whether they have done enough to fix the state budget, as many promised to do in the 2016 campaign. Lawmakers will get a better idea of the state’s financial situation later this week when the consensus revenue estimating group determines whether revenues are tracking with projections. Republican House Majority Leader Don Hineman of Dighton said in August that for the first time in a while, Kansas tax col...


Stakeholders say immigrants are ‘essential’ to western Kansas economy at...
26 Oct 2017 at 9:26pm

Stakeholders at a University of Kansas-hosted policy conference agreed Thursday that immigration and trade are essential to the Kansas economy, despite rhetoric emanating from Washington aimed at stymying the inflow of immigrants and renegotiating trade deals. Republican state Rep. Don Hineman, a Dighton farmer, said he thought many people in Western Kansas realized they needed immigrants to replace declining populations, but were concerned about changes to their communities. He said he thought efforts to deport unlawful immigrants could also mean lawful immigrants leave the country. “It ...


Pay hike at Kansas prisons builds pressure for other raises
11 Oct 2017 at 5:07pm

A decision to increase Kansas corrections officers' pay is building pressure on legislators to consider raises for all government workers, even though it's not clear the state has enough money to fund government as it is despite a large tax increase passed earlier this year over Gov. Sam Brownback's objections. "The problem with corrections is just a manifestation of a much bigger problem," said House Majority Leader Don Hineman, a Dighton Republican. "We have a much bigger issue with inadequate pay across state government."


Hineman defends Kansas Legislature's move to reinstate tax cuts in Topek...
5 Jul 2017 at 8:32pm

House Majority Leader Don Hineman of Dighton defends the Kansas Legislature’s move to reinstate tax cuts in a July 3 Topeka Capital-Journal editorial. Hineman writes that overturning Gov. Sam Brownback’s “overly aggressive 2012 tax cut” was a return to common sense tax policy, resulting from lawmakers fulfilling promises they made to their constituents during 2016 campaigns. Brownback’s tax plan, Hineman writes, abandoned the “three-legged stool” approach to funding government with a stable balance of income, sales and property taxes and created a massive budget deficit...


Tax reform a needed first step
4 Jul 2017 at 8:31pm

Last month, the Kansas Legislature enacted comprehensive tax reform, overturning Gov. Sam Brownback’s overly-aggressive 2012 tax cut. This return to commonsense tax policy resulted from legislators listening to their constituents and fulfilling the promises they made during 2016 campaigns. In the end, a group of 88 representatives and 27 senators from across the political spectrum voted to override the governor’s veto and restore our state to firmer fiscal ground...


Kansas Legislature Ends Session But Awaits Court Decision On School Funding
26 Jun 2017 at 8:28pm

The 2017 legislative session came in at 114 days, which tied the 2015 session for the longest in state history. After lawmakers ended the session, Brownback criticized their decisions. To tackle a budget deficit, lawmakers raised taxes by rolling back many of the 2012 tax cuts.  Republican House Majority Leader Don Hineman said those tax changes simply went too far. “We’ve now adjusted and corrected that overreach. That gives us an opportunity to go forward knowing that we have a more stable funding source,” he said Monday.


Kansas Lawmakers Unlikely To Vote Again On Medicaid Expansion, Says GOP ...
2 May 2017 at 1:46pm

Republican leaders in the Kansas House say it is unlikely they will schedule another vote on Medicaid expansion in the final weeks of the legislative session. But Democrats say they will attempt to force one. House Majority Leader Don Hineman, a Dighton Republican, said lawmakers facing tough votes on the budget, taxes and school finance don’t want to further complicate the final weeks of the session by adding Medicaid expansion to the mix. “The conversation is not over. There will be another initiative to expand Medicaid, but my best guess is that happens next year, not this session,” Hi...