Topeka Gov. Mark Parkinson on Monday slammed the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, accusing the largest business lobbying organization in the state of “fanning the flames of partisanship.”
Parkinson took issue with a statement made Saturday by Chamber President Kent Beisner who criticized legislators who were supporting a one-cent state sales tax increase.
In that statement, Beisner said, “As of today, the Legislature has failed to address the needs and wishes of the business community. It has instead catered to the needs of those at the government trough."
Supporters of the tax increase say it is necessary to avoid further cuts to schools, Medicaid and safety-net social services.
Parkinson criticized Beisner’s comments.
“It is heartbreaking to think that somebody would equate the disabled, the elderly, school children, veterans, law enforcement and the poor to pigs at a trough, Parkinson said.
He added, “The hurtful words of the Chamber are not reflective of the Kansas I know and love, and they are not acceptable in a time of crisis.”