U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback pointed to growth in technology industries as a path out of the state’s budget woes Thursday in Lawrence.
Speaking to the Lawrence Technology Association, Brownback said the state should seek to attract new opportunities in wind power, other renewable sources of energy and the aviation industry.
Brownback, a Republican who is running for governor, said the state needs to invest in these areas to position itself well for the future, and help to recruit new businesses to the state.
“We need that person who has that entrepreneurial spirit who says, ‘I’ve got a dream, and I know how to get things done,’” Brownback told the group consisting of industry leaders interested in promoting growth in the technology sector.
Kansas’ already strong aviation industry should position it to take advantage of potential private contracts from the federal government’s space exploration program, he said.
The next time NASA goes to the moon, he said, they will likely use the private sector to help get to a low Earth orbit, instead of using a large rocket to go straight to the moon.
“There’s no reason we shouldn’t be a part of that,” he said.
Brownback said growth and investment in these kinds of areas would help the state emerge from its current budgetary crisis.
“You can neither tax nor cut your way out of the problem you’re in,” he said. “You’ve got to grow your way out.”