Topeka One day after the head of the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corp. announced he was stepping down, a legislative leader on Wednesday called for a review of the economic development agency.
Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka has proposed creation of a committee to determine if it makes sense to keep KTEC going.
“While KTEC has played an important role in positioning the state of Kansas as a leader in technology-based industries, it is time to look for more efficient and cost-effective ways to continue providing these vital services to local businesses,” Hensley said.
Gov. Mark Parkinson has also called for a reassessment of the state’s approach to economic development, saying that there may be duplication among agencies.
On Tuesday, Tracy Taylor, president and chief executive officer of KTEC for the past seven years, announced he was stepping down June 30 from his $280,000 per year post.
Last month, then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius vetoed KTEC’s funding, saying that it had become ineffective and its duties could be handled by the Kansas Department of Commerce.
Republican legislative leaders put a smaller amount of funding back in for KTEC after Sebelius became President Barack Obama’s secretary of health and human services.
KTEC was created in 1987 to help develop high-tech companies in Kansas.
Parkinson said that with the state’s recent budget problems, Kansas needed to do a better job of helping develop the economy.
“Targeted economic development initiatives will be a critical component to our long-term recovery,” Parkinson said. “However, given the limited resources we have to invest in these efforts, we must go to greater lengths to ensure that we are spending taxpayer dollars on the right initiatives, at the right time, for the right reasons.”