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Archive for Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Sebelius: Gambling revenue key to avoiding tax increase

June 15, 2005

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— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius today said the state can increase school funding without a tax increase to comply with a Kansas Supreme Court order.

But she called on the Legislature to expand gambling in the state to shore up future budgets.

"If we just write a check and walk out the door. That is really irresponsible," Sebelius said during a news conference.

She said without additional gambling revenue, funding for highways, higher education and other services would be at risk.

The Legislature will come into a special session June 22 to address a court order to increase funding to schools by $143 million.

State leaders say recent increases in tax receipts mean the Legislature can appropriate the additional funds without having to increase taxes.

But Sebelius said the second part of the court order which means the state could be looking at having to approve a significant funding increase next year must be considered when lawmakers return for the special session.

Allowing expanded casino gambling would help provide the necessary funds, Sebelius said.

Casino gambling currently is reserved to four tribal facilities in northeast Kansas. The state receives no revenue from those casinos.

There are a wide range of casino expansion plans before the Legislature, including one that would allow major "destination" casinos in Kansas City, Kan. Wichita, Dodge City, Junction City and southeast Kansas.

Comments

absolutelyridiculous 9 years, 8 months ago

You have got to be kidding? Relying on gambling to support education is yet another tax on the poor who are more apt to gamble. Perhaps "Governor" Sebelius should look at the excesses in our state budget, there is still fat to be trimmed folks, as well as our excesses in our education system. Lawrence STILL has a Junior High system that is not efficient to operate. Let's wake up! We can't afford to keep spending like the party is still on! Vote her outta here! She is bad news.

davey 9 years, 8 months ago

I agree with "absolutelyridiculous." It is crazy to allow gambling in Kansas to support education. We should continue to allow Kansas dollars to flow to the surrounding states where gambling is legal and the gambling proceeds go towards educating students in those states. Get real. People will gamble. Lets keep those dollars in Kansas and use them wisely.
School districts are in trouble. No organization will run efficiently without appropriate funds.

Bruce Bertsch 9 years, 8 months ago

The only "bad news" in this mess is the KS Legislature which refuses to fund education, which is the only constitutionally mandated expenditure. That's not the Gov's fault. It dates back to the great tax give away of the 90's when the "conservatives" decided to lower taxes and balance the budget with gimmicks while praying for growth to bail them out. Guess what, they didn't get bailed out. Had they left the tax structure alone, this money would be there.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 8 months ago

Absolutely ridiculous:

Could you please document the excesses?

captain_poindexter 9 years, 8 months ago

bring back local option budget, then I'd support gambling.

Dani Davey 9 years, 8 months ago

The reason the state is looking at gaming again (as well they should) is because states that have gaming generate hundreds of millions of dollars in extra revenue every year. In our current budget crisis, it'd be nice to have those extra millions. Plus, as the governor and several legislators (including several conservatives) have pointed out on several occasions, Kansans are already gambling. Some go to Missouri. Some go to the Tribal casinos. Either way, people are already gaming, we might as well harness the industry and use the funds for something that we need money for...hey, how about education?

captain_poindexter 9 years, 8 months ago

Put it in the constitution that the gaming revenues will go DIRECTLY to schools then I'll support it. along with local option budget.

and as long as we don't have to pay back any loans that the casinos are offering right now

that is what the $143million that was offered in Tah-town yesterday was. a loan. to be repaid.

Dani Davey 9 years, 8 months ago

Thats how Missouri does it. They amended their constitution to allow for gaming for the funding of public education.

And the problem with the LOB is that it creates disproportionate funding across the state. Counties like Johnson, Douglas, and Sedgewick that can raise those extra tax dollars have an unfair advantage over western Kansas counties. Plus, as the Court noted, it's the legislature's consitutional duty to fund public schools, not the counties, and they can't just pass their duty off like that.

usaschools 9 years, 8 months ago

The Governor and the legislatures know that we need to increase taxes to fund education. The Republicans, who have long obstructed education reform in Kansas, want Sebilius to make the suggestion so that they don't have to. She offered a fairly reasonable plan last year, but they tore it down, so it is really now up the the Republicans to come up with a plan. Unfortunately, they don't want to fulfill their constitutional obligation to the students and people of Kansas, so the Governor has to suggest something to get the ball rolling. Here is an interesting fact: Over the last decade or so, the legislature has cut taxes over and over again. The cuts went very deep (even though our taxes do still seem high). The cummulative total of the amount of tax revenue lost per year due to these cuts is between 800 and 900 million dollars per year! This is exactly the amount of money needed to provide a suitable education for all children in Kansas according to the THREE studies that the legislature has already conducted on the issue of the cost of education. Doug Mays will, of course, want another study, but no study will ever come up with an honest figure that is less than 500 million. Here is another very telling fact. The majority of members of the Kansas legislature (both Senate and House) DO NOT HAVE A COLLEGE EDUCATION! If we are to be goverened by those who chose NOT to be lifelong learners, then we better do a darn good job KG-12!!!!!!

lunacydetector 9 years, 8 months ago

why is sebelius trying to pull a fast one on the native americans? gambling has helped the tribes out (who have gambling) by actually giving them running water, housing, real roads, fire departments, medical care and other "good" things that everyone else in the country has enjoyed for years. the reservations used to be like third world countries. gambling gave the natives money they were screwed out of in the past. - as long as they don't spend that money fighting the SLT - i'm okay with casinos on reservations. :)

sebelius is trying to run the indian casinos out of business. of course the government is wonderful when they try to run a business. on a smaller level, look at that money making eagle bend golf course the city has been trying to run. hand over fist in money - NOT!

could sebelius be characterized as a bigot since she wants to take away from the tribes? after all, there isn't THAT much money laying around for people to gamble.

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