April 27, 2016

Advocacy groups call on lawmakers to reject Governor’s latest budget proposals
Allied public interest organizations demand end of failed tax policy through “Option 4” budget plan as Kansas Legislature reconvenes for annual Wrap Up Session

On Wednesday morning, the Kansas Center for Economic Growth (KCEG) hosted a joint press conference to address three potential budget options released from the Brownback administration last week. Leaders of various groups that would be further impacted by the most recent proposals advocated for an “Option 4” plan – to repeal Governor Brownback’s damaging tax policy.

“Unfortunately, none of the options offered to the Legislature last week address the state’s long-term fiscal woes,” said KCEG Executive Director Annie McKay. “The only proposal lawmakers should be willing to accept is one that will restore our state’s financial stability and allow us to once again invest in our future.”

Former budget director and KCEG Senior Fellow Duane Goossen opened the event. “All of these options have already been over-utilized in the last five years as short-term budget stopgaps,” he said. “All of them come with serious long-term consequences for Kansas families, children, and the economy.”

Speakers included Shannon Cotsoradis of Kansas Action for Children, Bob Totten from the Kansas Contractors Association, Rebecca Proctor of the Kansas Organization of State Employees, and Mark Desetti from the Kansas-National Education Association.

Each leader gave their own remarks, discussing the detrimental impact the budget proposals would have on the state.

As stated, “Option 4” would require legislation to repeal the tax cuts enacted in 2012 and 2013 by Governor Brownback. The state’s continual fiscal crisis is evident in its lack of revenue and subsequent short-term fixes, including repeated sweeps of the Highway Fund and massive cuts from public education. For 11 of the past 12 months, the state failed to collect the revenue needed to fund public services.

“The damage done over the last few years can only be repaired if our fiscal outlook improves now,” said McKay. “And the only way to repair our fiscal outlook is to finally fix the problem. And that’s what we’re calling on the governor and legislators to do.”

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ClayRELEASE: Advocacy groups call on lawmakers to reject Governor’s latest budget proposals