Last week we asked for your support to attend the town hall summit on the effects of Kansas budget cuts hosted by Big Tent Coalition and Kansans for Quality Communities. Over 80 people turned out to tell dramatic stories about the effects of crumbling social services and public education. The Wichita Eagle has great coverage:
â€œWhatâ€™s happened in Topeka over the last few years has not been good for Kansas,â€ said the eventâ€™s moderator, Mark Desetti, a lobbyist for the Kansas National Education Association. â€œToo many people are suffering â€¦ in the current climate of â€˜no government is good government.â€™â€
Desetti claimed that 65 disabled or elderly Kansans died in the past year while on waiting lists for government services for which they were eligible.
He said that is unacceptable given that the state has granted $10 billion in tax cuts over the past decade.
Several lawmakers were there to echo the public’s concerns:
Rep. Nile Dillmore, D-Wichita, accused Brownback of governing through â€œlittle secret groups,â€ mostly from out of state, to develop the tax and social service policies heâ€™s expected to push when the Legislature convenes in January. â€œThatâ€™s the people that Brownback and his administration are listening to,â€ Dillmore said. â€œTheyâ€™re not listening to me and theyâ€™re not listening to you.â€
Dillmore said he doesnâ€™t think the governorâ€™s priorities represent Kansas values.
â€œIâ€™ve lived in this state all my life and I know these people and I know that they donâ€™t look around and say, â€˜You know, Iâ€™m really worried mostly about my pocketbookâ€™ when people are dying,â€ Dillmore said. â€œThey look around and they try to find ways to help.â€