TOPEKA — A group of nearly 50 former legislators — all Republicans — called for increased funding to public schools and spoke against proposals to eliminate the state income tax.
Rochelle Chronister, a former legislator and former chairwoman of the Kansas Republican Party, said the looming crisis for children’s education is a moral crisis.
“God and education have always been important to the people of our state and the Kansas Constitution reminds us that,” Chronister said during a news conference on the first day of the 2012 wrap-up session. “The first responsibility of Kansas Legislature is to ensure the education of our children.”
Legislators are currently fighting over school funding and tax cut proposals.
Tax distribution was also a topic of discussion for the former legislators, citing imbalances in property, sales and use, income and privilege, and miscellaneous taxes.
The group issued a report that said property taxes make up for 35 percent of all taxes, putting income and privilege taxes at roughly 24 percent.
Chronister said gradually reducing income taxes instead of increasing funding for education would further unbalance an already disproportionate taxing system, inevitably causing taxpayers to spend more on property and sales taxes.
Chronister did not say whether the group, called Traditional Republicans for Common Sense, would finance campaigns of other Republicans in the next election cycle.