Shawnee County Democrats talk state budget problems over annual ‘Bean Feed’

TOPEKA (KSNT) — From Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, Topeka City Council member T.J Brown, to retired Shawnee County Commissioner Ted Ensley, many Shawnee County elected officials were in attendance at Sunday nights ‘Bean Feed’.

This is the Shawnee County democrats 34th annual ‘Bean Feed’, originally starting in 1982. Not only is this a day for all Shawnee County democrats to come together, but it is also an important day for Kansans everywhere… It’s Kansas Day.

“Kansas Day for years was exclusively a republican event so we felt it was important that democrats also participate in the celebration of our state… So this weekend corresponds with that celebration as well,” said Anthony Hensley, Democrat Senate Minority Leader.

Over good old fashion bean soup and corn bread, elected officials and candidates in the April election talked about issues that are affecting their state and county.

“The bad thing is Sam Brownback got re-elected,” said Hensley.

“A lot of people particularly on the republican side are going to have to make some very hard decisions if we are truly going to fix the situation that we are in. We cannot do it by raising liquor taxes and raising cigarette taxes. That doesn’t do it,” said Laura Kelly, Democrat Senate Minority.

Teachers and K-12 higher education budget cuts was a main topic of concern for these democrats.

“Programs like the arts and orchestra and band and debate, forensics all of those don’t become the first item on the chopping block,” said Lauren Tice-Miller, Shawnee Heights School Board candidate.

“There is a lot of finger pointing and shifted blame right now between the legislature and the executive,” said Patrick Woods, Topeka 501 School Board member.

These elected officials and candidates want to see a change in the states capital to a democratic majority. And they say it all starts with the citizens of Shawnee County.

All proceeds from Sundays ‘Bean Feed’ will go to the local democratic parties and it’s candidates, running in the march primary election.

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