Daily Archives: May 15, 2014

Brownback’s cash-reserves claim not the full story

cashSam Brownback loves to mention, as he did in a campaign fundraising letter this month, that the state had only $876 in the bank when he became governor, and that it now has hundreds of millions of dollars in cash reserves. But as Eagle reporter Bryan Lowry noted, the $876 was actually the balance on the last day of the fiscal year six months before Brownback was sworn in. And a main reason why the reserves rebounded was that Brownback’s predecessor, former Gov. Mark Parkinson, and the Legislature approved a temporary sales tax increase. What’s more, Brownback opposed that sales tax increase when he campaigned for governor. But after he was elected, he opposed revoking it and convinced the Legislature to make part of the increase permanent. And if the size of the cash balance is the measure of fiscal responsibility, shouldn’t Kansans be concerned that the balance is dropping rapidly because of state income tax cuts (which Brownback also fails to mention)?

Open thread (May 15)

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Dole hasn’t given up on U.N. disability treaty

dolemugCharacteristically, former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole didn’t give up after the U.S. Senate’s failure to ratify the United Nations treaty on disability rights in December 2012, when Dole visited the Senate floor in a wheelchair yet even fellow Kansans Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran voted “no.” When visiting Salina Tuesday, Dole told Kansas Public Radio that he and the White House are “working on some additional language” to allay some Republicans’ fears that the treaty could be a threat to the rights of homeschooling families. “When we get it all complete I’ll take it to Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran and try to get their support,” he said, suggesting it is two votes short of the necessary 67 and that another Senate vote could come July 21. That would be the day before Dole’s 91st birthday.