Archive for Thursday, February 10, 2011

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback outlines economic development plan

February 10, 2011


— Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback proposed a sweeping economic growth plan on Thursday, putting forth a framework for better coordination of state efforts and closer monitoring of the merits of government programs.

The plan makes mention of changing state tax structures to encourage growth, such as incentives for rural development, but doesn't include eliminating specific taxes for large classes of businesses or individuals.

During a news conference to outline the plan, Brownback drew a distinction between economic growth and economic development, saying the two terms are not interchangeable.

"The ultimate goal of Kansas' economic development system is the prosperity of the state's citizens," the Republican governor said. "After decades of piecemeal growth and change, the Kansas economic development system needs to be revitalized."

Brownback's plan includes several initiatives that he has already announced. They include reorganizing state economic development agencies, proposing to increase the expensing of certain business investments to spur growth, creation of the Governor's Council of Economic Advisors.

The council will include Cabinet secretaries for labor, commerce, revenue and agriculture.

"We're looking to create an environment and a long-term fix," Commerce Secretary Pat George said. "We want to create an environment that is sustainable. We want to get out of picking the winners and losers. We want everybody to be a winner."

The council will be looking at a broad policy, officials said, building on the state's global strengths in agriculture, aviation and biosciences.

Brownback also proposes a five-year individual income tax rebate for residents who relocate to Kansas to any county that has experienced double-digit population declines since 2000. Another plan would allow all businesses greater latitude in expensing capital investments to take advantage of state and federal tax credits.

"Those are the ones I think we can get done and pay for," Brownback said.

But Brownback said he wasn't proposing eliminating other taxes this year, such as corporate income taxes or reducing the state sales tax rate, because of budget constraints. Kansas faces a projected $492 million budget shortfall in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

"I don't think we can do that now in this legislative session," Brownback said.

Brownback also said Kansas will closely monitor economic programs to ensure returns on state investments.

"We have seen in recent years that state budgets decline when economic growth lags," Brownback said. "The best way to ensure that our schools are fully funded is to grow the state and local economies. The best way to ensure that there are resources for necessary social services to our most vulnerable citizens is to have a growing economy."


cowboy 7 years, 2 months ago

These are specifics ? How about how you are going to stabilize and grow the Wichita aero industry , how about competing in emerging industries that will benefit the larger metro areas in the eastern part of the state , how about increasing revenue so the state can afford to keep essential programs. I wouldn't mind a temporary increase in my paltry state taxes to right this ship , treat education and those in need equitably. Read my lips Brown hack , there is more to righting the ship than just cutting spending.

Curious minds want to know are you collecting your senate retirement check , your health benefits for life , while denying others of the same ?

nobody1793 7 years, 2 months ago

Didn't you see the diagram on page 4 of the downloadable PDF? Instead of flushing all the money down a small, inefficient hole, he's going to flush it through a much bigger hole!

cowboy 7 years, 2 months ago

Ok , I went and read the whole pdf , I stand by my earlier statement.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 2 months ago

We Need a (Green) Jobs Program

Clean-energy investment would promote job growth for a wide swath of the U.S. workforce.

By Jeannette Wicks-Lim

Fourteen months of an unemployment rate at or near 10% clearly calls for the federal government to take a lead role in job creation. The White House should push its clean-energy agenda as a jobs program but steer clear of all the hype about “green-collar” jobs. Green-collar jobs are widely perceived as job opportunities accessible only to an elite segment of the U.S. workforce—those with advanced degrees, such as environmental engineers, lab technicians, and research scientists. Such jobs are inaccessible to the 52% of unemployed workers with no college experience. The truth is, however, that clean-energy investments could serve as a powerful engine for job growth for a wide swath of the U.S. workforce.

My colleagues at the Political Economy Research Institute and I examined a clean-energy program that includes making buildings more energy efficient, expanding and improving mass transit, updating the national electric grid, and developing each of three types of renewable energy sources: wind, solar, and biomass fuels. Here’s what we found.

First, clean-energy activities produce more jobs, dollar for dollar, than fossil fuel-related activities. This is because clean-energy activities tend to be more labor intensive (i.e., more investment dollars go to hiring workers than buying machines), have a higher domestic content (i.e., more dollars are spent on goods and services produced within the United States) and have lower average wages than fossil fuel-related activities. The figures in the table below show how a $1 million investment in clean-energy activities would create more than three times the number of jobs that would be created by investing the same amount in fossil fuels. (See Heidi Garrett-Peltier, Saving Energy Creates Jobs, Dollars & Sense, May/June 2009.)


Dan Thalmann 7 years, 2 months ago

Build a new nuclear power plant in Kansas and everybody benefits. They can build it in my neighborhood too!

Scott Tichenor 7 years, 2 months ago

Here's a sure money saver: eliminate the position of Secretary of State. The current occupant of the office isn't doing anything other than wasting most of his time being employed outside of the state and is threatening to implement a bunch of looney tune ideas that will increase government spending.

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