Daily Archives: Jan. 24, 2013

Nation watching Kansas’ tax-cutting experiment

As interesting as Thursday’s New York Times article on Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax-cutting, pro-growth agenda were the online reader comments, including many responding to the statement by Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, that “if you look at the demographics of my voter base, a lot moved to Florida and Nevada for lower taxes. I’d like to see them come back.”
A sample of Times readers’ responses:
– “Perhaps they’re leaving because staying means they have to live in Kansas. Anything special about that place? Weather, natural beauty, a welcoming, open, non-dogmatic populace? Nope.”
– “The entire state is taking on the feel of a Glen Campbell song.”
– “Hurrah!! Lower taxes, more efficient government. Thankfully, someone is trying to provide some relief to taxpayers.”
– “Kansas is just about as pure a test of the conservative ideology as we are going to get, so let’s just see what happens.”
– “I’m guessing Kansas basketball won’t suffer. Students can’t read or write, poor farmers can’t get health care, but God help us if we’re not in the top 10.”

Transportation plan still a piggy bank for state

When former Kansas Transportation Secretary Deb Miller resigned a little more than a year ago, she warned that the state needed to stop raiding the transportation plan to pay its bills. Gov. Sam Brownback agreed, saying that the state needed to seek alternatives to another massive sweep of KDOT. But Brownback’s new budget plan would use $96.6 million in highway funds to pay for school district transportation costs in both of the next two fiscal years. It also would transfer $10 million to pay for special education aid next fiscal year and $43 million the following year. Other transfers include $9.7 million for mental health services, $5 million for Wichita’s airfare subsidy, and $3.5 million for a new crime laboratory. All total, Brownback’s budget would transfer $265 million next fiscal year from the highway fund and $295 million the following year.