Does performance based-budgeting (praised by Marc Rhoades, Newton Kansan, April 22) also apply to the Kansas legislature and Gov. Sam Brownback, or only to everyone else?
The elimination in 2012 of income taxes for 330,000 self employed Kansans has not been the engine of economic growth anticipated. The Brownback experiment has failed. The sun is not shining in Kansas.
Will Mr. Rhodes and the Republican dominated legislature have the courage to face a failed outcome, and adjust their own performance? Or, will they continue their delusional thinking?
How long can they keep kicking the can down the road: robbing highway funds, tobacco settlement funds for childrens programs, delay payments to KPERs, and continue to short change public education, social services, law enforcement and the courts?
#x2014; Duane K. Friesen, North Newton


BRAC, OCO and Truth In Budgeting

The dirty little nonsecret of US defense budgeting is the shell game known as the overseas contingency operations (OCO) fund. Ostensibly established for emergency funding needs arising from the wars in Iraq and



The 2016 Legislative Session is now past the scheduled April 19th deadline.

Key issues in the budget have split the two chambers at the Iowa Statehouse. Representative Guy Vander Linden says the House passed a nearly $9.7 million reduction in the Iowa Department of Transportation budget. He and fellow Republicans claim the organization was using excess funds for salary increases during the tough budget year.

Senate Democrats have come out largely in opposition to the cuts, claiming it will cut the number of snowplows on the road during the winter and other functions of the organization. The other divided issue is the health and human services budget, with the House aiming to defund Planned Parenthood and the Senate voting Friday to return that funding.

Both issues will end up in special committees next week if agreements cannot be reached.



Council Member Paul Vallone announced the results of his second participatory budgeting cycle. Residents cast 4,503 votes, the most of any Council District in Queens, to decide how to spend up to $1 million of Vallones discretionary funding on projects to improve Northeast Queens. Vallone also announced that he will be allocating additional capital funding in order to fully fund the 2.25 million needed for the top five projects. Council Member Paul Vallone announced on April 18 the record-setting results of his second participatory budgeting cycle. Residents cast 4,503 votes, nearly double the amount of last year, and the most of any Council District in Queens, to decide how to spend up to $1 million of Vallones discretionary funding on projects to improve Northeast Queens. As a result of this years success, Vallone also announced that he will be allocating additional capital funding in order to fully fund the 2.25 million needed for the top five projects.

The winning projects were:

1.Bayside High School Music Educational Complex 1,144 votes: This project will fund phase three of state-of-theart music studio for Bayside High School, which has 350 students in their Career and Technical Education music production and performance program.

2.JHS. 194 Auditorium Upgrade 1,085 votes: This project will replace lighting, curtains, sound system, flooring, A/V system and auditorium seating. The auditorium is used for both school and community events.

3.PS 193 Auditorium Upgrade 1,059 votes: The project will replace lighting, curtains, sound system, flooring, A/V system and auditorium seating. The auditorium is used for both school and community events.

4.PS 79 Gymnasium Upgrade 1,025 votes: The project will renovate the school recreational space by replacing wall padding, basketball hoop backboards, sound system, scoreboard and additional gymnasium equipment.

5.Harvey Park Pedestrian Safety Sidewalk and Guardrail 987 votes: Project will create concrete pedestrian sidewalk along the Northbound Whitestone Expressway Service Road between 20th Ave. and 14th Ave. A guardrail will be installed along sidewalk for pedestrian safety.

Participatory budgeting has been a great way to hear the pulse of the community and see how residents believe city dollars and resources should be spent. The results clearly show the district overwhelmingly supported the process. At a time when voter turnout is at a record low, we have created a way to engage our youth and youngest voters as to the power and importance of voting. In response to the enormous success of this years cycle, I am proud to commit a full $2.25 million to fund the top 5 winning projects, said Vallone. This monumental, eight-month task could not have been possible without the continuous dedication of our delegates, community liaisons, volunteers, staff and especially Vito Tautonico, our Director of Constituent Services, who spearheaded the process. I look forward to continuing to grow the process next year.

The other contenders were NYPD Security Cameras - 875 total votes; Real Time Passenger Countdown Clocks - 659 total votes; Adrien Block Campus Cafeteria Upgrade - 658 total votes; Adult Fitness Center at Little Bay Park - 638 total votes; Basketball Court and Sidewalk Renovation at Bay Terrace Playground- 522 total votes; Wall Shelf at Douglaston/Little Neck Library - 511 total votes; PS 21 Playground Renovation - 497 total votes; PS 159 Technology Upgrade - 436 total votes; Basketball Court Renovation at MacNeil Park - 431 total votes; Adult Fitness Center at MacNeil Park - 426 total votes; PS 98 Technology Upgrade - 415 total votes; and Basketball Court Renovation at Marie Curie Park - 287 total votes.