Don in the News

Legislators made some noise in Topeka, but some still ask, 'Why so secre...
9 May 2018 at 1:46pm

This was the year Kansas legislators promised to be more transparent. And at times, they were. But in the waning hours of the 2018 session — while most Kansans slept — lawmakers voted on the year's most controversial issue after using a decades-old maneuver that strips a bill of its contents and replaces it with a totally unrelated measure. Majority Leader Don Hineman, R-Dighton, who voted against the adoption bill: "During this veto session, the last eight days, there have been multiple instances of a 'gut-and-go' occurring to allow us to do what we need to do … if we didn't have that to...


How do you fix an $80 million error? Kansas lawmakers are divided
27 Apr 2018 at 1:41pm

When Kansas lawmakers discovered an $80 million error in a major school funding bill after leaving on a break, many vowed to correct the problem when they returned. Well, they're back, but are divided over how to fix the problem. Legislative leaders haven’t decided exactly when they’ll get to the school finance fix. “I’m hoping sooner rather than later,” said House Majority Leader Don Hineman, R-Dighton.


Supreme Court alters deadline
25 Apr 2018 at 1:36pm

The Kansas Supreme Court issued an order Wednesday altering deadlines for submitting legal briefs in an education finance case due to an error in the five-year, $525 million funding bill narrowly passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Jeff Colyer. Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, and House Majority Leader Don Hineman, R-Dighton, said a bill fixing the $80 million miscue could be placed on Colyer’s desk after the Legislature reconvenes Thursday. Lawmakers can remove the problematic portion from the statute or adopt a provision correcting the expenditure. “Th...


Republican leaders in Kansas differ sharply on tax cuts
25 Apr 2018 at 1:33pm

Republican leaders in the Kansas House and Senate expressed sharply different views Wednesday about a tax bill that the Senate passed earlier this month and that the House is expected to take up in the upcoming wrap-up session. House Majority Leader Don Hineman, R-Dighton, called the bill "flawed" and said at least part of the Senate's plan may have to be deleted. "There’s a growing recognition that the Senate bill, as written, is flawed and should probably not be adopted," he said in a separate interview.


Colyer to lawmakers on school spending bill: Fix it
12 Apr 2018 at 1:28pm

Kansas Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer wants lawmakers to fix a costly mistake in the school finance bill passed after midnight on the last day of the regular session. “This probably isn’t enough,” said Mark Tallman, associate director of the Kansas Association of School Boards. “The biggest weakness in the state’s case may be that because it’s phased in over five years,” he said. “Inflation is going to erode some of that.” The problem with that, said House Majority Leader Don Hineman, is that an accelerated timetable would require lawmakers who have “absolutely no appetite for raising taxes”...


Attorney for schools says Kansas funding bill is inadequate
9 Apr 2018 at 1:23pm

Alan Rupe, lead attorney for the school districts that sued the state over funding, said the bill doesn't meet the criteria laid out by the Supreme Court and that more funding is still needed. "All the studies pretty much say the same thing ... and the $500 million falls short of that," Rupe said. Republican Rep. Don Hineman of Dighton said $2 billion is out of the question and that raising $534 million is enough of a challenge as it is. That recent study forced legislators to have a serious conversation about what results they wanted and what results they could afford, Hineman said, and ...


Kansas lawmakers' school funding plan is similar to what Brownback pitch...
8 Apr 2018 at 1:19pm

Then-Gov. Sam Brownback came under intense attack from some Republicans in January when he proposed increasing school funding by more than $500 million over five years. But for all the criticism Brownback faced then, the Legislature ended up passing a plan early Sunday that will boost funding by roughly the same amount. House Majority Leader Don Hineman, R-Dighton, said lawmakers worked through the numbers to find the right funding amount. “It turned out that the additional money we needed was $522 million. You spread that over five years and it looks a lot like the Brownback suggestion, ...