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Governor statements
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Dear Editor,
To prep us for this years round of radical tax changes, the Governor made these statements in his State of the State address:
On that January night, four years ago ... Kansas ranked near the bottom among US states in private sector job growth.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the number of Kansas private sector jobs when Gov. Brownback took office was 1,053,000 compared to 1,050,000 when Gov. Sebelius took office. This very small increase out-performed the national figures which decreased from 108,949,000 to 108,554,000 over the same period.
From 1999-2009, the number of Kansans in private sector employment had actually dropped.
Employment dropped for the whole nation. Thats why its called a recession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the monthly average number of Kansas private sector jobs in 2009 declined sixty-two hundredths of one percent from 1999. The national figures declined twenty-four hundredths over the same period.
... government spending growth was not reflective of the trajectory of our population or of the economy.
According to the annual Governors Budget Report the general funding spending when Gov. Brownback took office in fiscal year 2011 was 5,667 million dollars compared to 4,138 million dollars when Gov. Sebelius took office in fiscal year 2003. This growth of 37% was the same as the 37% growth in Kansas gross domestic product (126,347 vs. 92,320 million dollars, 2010 vs. 2002, Bureau of Economic Analysis). The growth of state government spending did reflect the economy because it was the same as the growth of the state economy.
A majority of the projected shortfall we face is due to increases in K-12 spending since Fiscal Year 2014.
I want to repeat that. A majority of the projected shortfall we face is due to increases in K-12 spending.
Fiscal year 2015 education spending is expected to exceed fiscal year 2014 spending by $253.9 million. Most of this increase, $137 million, is because in fiscal year 2014 the Governor failed to provide funds for students in poorer district equally with students in wealthier districts as required by the state Constitution. According to the Kansas Legislative Research Department the estimated fiscal year 2015 revenue reduction due to the Governors income tax cuts is $607.2 million. The Governors tax cuts are twice the size of the total education increase and five times the size of the education increase beyond equalization.
.. may God grant us all ... truth to carry out our duties.
I dont know why, in honest-as-the-day-is-long, straight-talking Kansas, we declare the Governors tax changes are right as rain, when the Governors foundational justifications are false. What are the reasons we are doing this? This is not rhetorical. I am asking for someone from this area to please send a letter to the editor of the Great Bend Tribune providing a whole-truth answer to the question. We have party officials, elected legislators and plenty of individuals who have supported the Governor. We are not a closed, secret society. The open forum is our heritage. Please use it.
John Sturn
Ellinwood