Economic-development officials unveiled their road map Monday for jump-starting the Kansas economy a route paved with needs for more money, better communication and new partnerships.
Kansas Inc. unveiled its plan, "Making the Knowledge Economy Work for All Kansans," in Topeka, where state lawmakers are preparing to enter a legislative session without much hope for finding financing for any new programs.
Among the biggest goals of the plan billed as the state's most ambitious look at economic development in nearly 15 years is to lift the legislative cap for using revenues generated by the Kansas Lottery for economic development.
The cap now stands at $50 million available for the state's Economic Development Initiatives Fund, with any additional money going to other state programs. Lifting the cap is necessary to boost job training, recruitment, business incubation and other efforts to help build the economy, Gov. Bill Graves has said.
Lifting the cap is the first of 47 policies supported by the plan, developed by Kansas Inc. with assistance from consultants and 1,100 Kansans. Among the other policies:
Increase rebates on property taxes paid on machinery and equipment.
Develop incentives for industry and government to create a statewide broadband network.
Remove legal, statutory and regulatory barriers to intergovernmental cooperation at the local level, to help boost efficiency in spending public money.
Establish a "performance-based" model for revenues at state agencies, to help Kansans see that their tax money is spent efficiently.
Finance research and development programs at Board of Regents schools that target product development and food-safety assurance.
Assure financing for and increase investments in research infrastructure.