Brownback’s $705 million hole and his new rubber stamp Legislature

Late on Tuesday the Kansas Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG) predicted that Kansas revenues will drop $705 million in the upcoming fiscal year. Back in May we warned you about the devastating effect that Governor Brownback’s massive plan would have on Kansas by leaving a $2.7 billion crater in the budget by 2018 and CREG’s predictions show just how quickly the Governor’s fiscal policies will wreck the state.

“A $705 million drop in revenue is only the beginning,” said Terry Forsyth, president of the Working Kansas Alliance. “The magical growth model that the Governor talks about only exists for the wealthiest Kansans who benefit from his tax plan. For working families and Kansans who are fighting to get into the middle class, we get deep cuts to essential services and higher property taxes.”

Two months before the Governor releases his next budget, the fiscal outlook for Kansas is plummeting. Kansas schools, highways, prisons, services for the elderly and disabled have all suffered deep cuts over the last several years, and the Governor’s reckless agenda require even deeper cuts to those essential state responsibilities. Brownback spent the summer and fall campaigning for legislative candidates who are ready to help him make those cuts, and he instructed state agencies to prepare budgets with 10% cuts heading into 2013.

“The Governor’s effort to elect new Senators makes it clear to us that he is putting the pocketbooks of the wealthiest Kansans over the best interest of our state, even if it means laying off quality teachers, increasing class sizes, and closing some schools,” said Forsyth. “Sam Brownback knew this fiscal disaster was heading our way the minute he signed his tax cut, and since then his only ideas for how to prepare Kansans for the massive deficits have been increasing sales taxes and cutting 10% out of state agencies that have been cut too deep since the recession hit in 2008.”

The Governor’s tax plan will force local governments to raise property taxes to cover the essential services that Brownback’s administration is abandoning. And while no one likes to pay taxes, Kansans understand the importance of making smart investments to keep our communities growing, safe, and prepared for the future. Unfortunately the Governor and his new Legislature don’t.

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