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Former Kansas Governor's endorse Taylor
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Dear Editor,
It’s rare to see former Republican governors engage in a Republican primary election. Historically, there has been little reason to weigh in, but the upcoming elections on Aug. 2, hold such importance, we cannot remain on the sideline any longer.
Kansas is in a serious fiscal crisis. S&P Global Watch downgraded our credit rating again this week because of our budget problems. We don’t have the money to provide essential government services – maintaining our roads, getting our state hospitals recertified, fixing the KPERS retirement system, and providing opportunity for a quality, affordable education. We’re not talking about luxuries, but rather basic core services that are now in jeopardy because of Governor Brownback and his supporters in the legislature.
We have long championed conservative fiscal policies and balanced budgets, factors that assured strong credit ratings and debt elimination. But the assurance once held by Kansans, especially our senior citizens, that their government would responsibly provide adequate essential services is gone. Kansans are paying more in taxes today and receiving fewer benefits for their tax contributions. There’s no denying this is a direct result of the policies enacted by Governor Brownback and his supporters in the House and Senate.
Under our leadership, we both balanced the state budget with upwards of $400 million dollars in ending balances. Today, Kansas is closing the books with zero dollars in the bank, despite a state law requiring a 7 percent ending balance. The Kansas credit rating has been downgraded to negative, KPERS pension payments are being deferred, highway maintenance delayed, and deep cuts to the Kansas Senior Care Act, Medicaid, and Parents as Teachers are jeopardizing the quality of life Kansans have long enjoyed.
We support the election of more reasonable, thoughtful Republicans to public office. We support a return to traditional conservative legislators with solid Kansas values who will move Kansas forward. We cannot continue the advancement of the Governor’s tax experiment, nor the reckless disregard for investments that would build a stronger middle class.
For this reason, we offer our endorsement for Mary Jo Taylor, State Senator for District 33.
Bill Graves, Former Kansas Governor
J. Michael Hayden, Former Kansas Governor