Topeka Anti-tax groups on Wednesday launched a statewide advertising campaign to pressure the Legislature to hold down spending.
Alan Cobb, state director of the Kansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity, said the public needs to get involved in the budget debate because of a looming fiscal crisis.
"We have to get this spending under control," Cobb said.
The radio and newspaper ads call on the Legislature, when it comes into session in January, to limit the state budget to $6.3 billion. Cobb said that would allow for a spending increase for inflation and population growth from the previous year's budget.
But Alan Conroy, director of the Kansas Legislative Research Department, said a $6.3 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1 would mean no state employee pay raise, and no increase for regents universities and community colleges. That is because, he said, $6.3 billion is needed to cover commitments state officials have already made to public schools, the pension system and growth in social services.
And assertions made by the groups in a 60-second radio ad fail to mention some budgetary details.
For instance, the ad says that state spending increased $1 billion over two years.
That's true, but the ad doesn't say that much of that increase was ordered by the Kansas Supreme Court in the school finance lawsuit.
The ads are paid for by AFP, the Kansas Taxpayer Network and National Federation of Independent Business.
Cobb said he didn't know how much would be spent on the campaign because his group was continuing to raise funds to increase the frequency of when the ads run.
He said AFP will present a "model state budget" to legislators in January.