Chamber’s ‘pro-jobs’ lawmakers favored higher-education cuts

The Kansas Chamber of Commerce’s recently released “2013 Pro-Jobs Legislator list” was Republican-only, singling out 24 senators and 71 representatives for their support for “sound business policy that strengthens our state’s economy and attracts jobs.” Of course, many lawmakers who supported the cuts to higher-education funding made the list – including that effort’s ringleaders, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, and Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman Ty Masterson, R-Andover. The applauded lawmakers also favored the $2 million cut in state funding for the National Center for Aviation Training, which is crucial to Wichita remaining the Air Capital of the World. Many Kansans would be hard-pressed to see how it benefits the state’s economy and business environment to harm state universities and drive tuition rates higher. As Daniel Hurley of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities recently asked: “What employer would want to move to or expand in a state where the Legislature makes it clear that college access and building a skilled workforce is not a priority?”