Archive for Thursday, August 16, 2012

Statehouse Live: Brownback administration directs state agencies to propose 10 percent cuts

August 16, 2012


— Gov. Sam Brownback, who recently signed into law massive tax cuts, has directed state agencies to propose cuts in their budgets of 10 percent, according to a letter obtained Thursday by the Lawrence Journal-World. His office said agencies should prepare for possible economic problems "that are beyond our control."

House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said Brownback's directive shows that the Republican governor "intends to pay for massive tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations at the expense of seniors, the disabled and public safety."

Davis added, "Gov. Brownback’s `Road map for Kansas' is already steering our state into the ditch, and the consequences of his failed priorities have only just begun."

In past statements, Brownback has promised to protect education, Medicaid and public safety funding.

His spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag said Thursday, "However, there are things agencies can do to reduce costs and streamline their offices without impacting services. The governor has asked state agencies to prepare contingency budget plans should something happen to the country and world economies that are beyond our control."

State agencies are in the process of formulating spending plans for fiscal year 2014, which starts July 1, 2013.

The agency budget proposals are submitted to Brownback for review before Brownback releases his budget plan to the Legislature in January. Any final budget would have to be approved by the Legislature and governor.

Brownback's Budget Director Steve Anderson directed agencies propose the cuts.

"As you are likely aware, the FY 2014 budget will require prioritization of programs, consolidation of resources and consideration of alternatives to current organizational structures, funding streams and outdated ways of doing business," Anderson wrote in a letter to agencies.

He added, "These reductions should be thoughtful efforts at conserving state funds and not simply repeating old proposals that are not practical."

Anderson directs the agencies to provide a reduced resource package of 10 percent.

Anderson also said no salary increases should part of the budget proposals, and that the administration is preparing for "dramatic reductions" in tobacco settlement monies, which fund several children's programs.

Brownback pushed through tax cuts during the last legislative session that will reduce state income tax rates and exempt the owners of 191,000 businesses from paying income taxes on non-wage income.

Democrats and some Republicans have said the tax cuts will benefit mostly the wealthy, are too large and will force cuts in state funding of schools, social services and public safety.

Under the cuts, tax revenue is projected to decline $4.5 billion over the next six years. The state budget totals about $6.2 billion in state revenue annually and sustained significant cuts during the recession.

The Legislature’s research staff forecast that the tax cuts would lead to a budget shortfall within a couple of years that could grow to a range of $2.5 billion to $3 billion in 2018.


Phillbert 5 years, 9 months ago

But I thought we had plenty of money for tax cuts, which would pay for themselves anyway?!

Larrytown 5 years, 9 months ago

Sad state of affairs here in the State of Kansas.

Food for thought....the best (i.e. highest quality of living standards) countries in the world have a combination of a strong private sector and strong government. Kansas is certainly heading in the opposite direction on the latter.

I'm going under the assumption that this is just the beginning....given the massive revenue drops in the upcoming years.

Folks...your on your own (that means filling the potholes on I-70, taking turns educating the kids at the public schools, helping police the streets, etc..). Obviously, I'm getting a little carried away...but you get the point.

somebodynew 5 years, 9 months ago

Hey here is an idea - how about ALL State agencies reduce by 10%. That starts with the Governor and HIS staff, and the Legislature and THEIR staff. They could start with just 10% pay reduction.

Oh, yeah, they are excempt from all this - they will just find more money to spend on their "money pit" - the Capitol Building. Always money for it, just nothing else.

Larrytown - but we do have a strong government. Whatever the Gov wants he gets, how much stronger than that can it be?? He/they just don't care about us regular folks.

Andrew Reeves 5 years, 9 months ago

At least take away their "Socialist" healthcare!

JayhawkFan1985 5 years, 9 months ago

This 25% cut you say is needed is based on what? What first hand knowledge do you have about waste in state government? Or are you just blowing smoke from your radical world view of no government is better? Tell us what should be cut and how. Otherwise you need to shut up.

Phillbert 5 years, 9 months ago

There were already cuts of 10-15% during the budget crisis caused by the recession, so this self-inflicted budget crisis will reach your randomly selected goal.

Shane Garrett 5 years, 9 months ago

Brownbacker reams state agencies again. So give that guy on the street corner an extra dime, cause he will have no were to go and will be off his meds again.

werekoala 5 years, 9 months ago

"being adult"

in this case means dramatically slashing your income, and then figuring out how to make ends meet after the fact.

Less like an adult actually, and more like a stoner pizza delivery driver who took less hours so he could have more time to play video games, and is now scrambling to find a way to make rent.

Yeah, real adult...

headdoctor 5 years, 9 months ago

Funny how you and some of the other right leaning posters automatically assume just because someone disagrees with you that they must be Democrat/Liberal/Socialist, etc. It never occurs to you that most people who have paid attention at all knows there is Government waste. They also know that what should be cut never gets cut by the politicians. They also know that if there is a short fall in revenue who will get to pay for it.

What isn't funny is understanding how you can not see where this is all going which either means you are incapable of understanding or you are just being a troll trying to stir the pot. Hint. Neither option is something for you to be proud of.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 9 months ago

I find it amazing how many people with things like mortgages or car payments or school loans (for themselves or their kids) squawk about others not living within their means.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years, 9 months ago

Sageon, I presume you live in the united states. If so, you are a socialist. Otherwise you wouldn't have Medicare, social security, public education, free roads, etc.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 9 months ago

Apparently you were never very good at math.

John Sheppard 5 years, 9 months ago

Maybe the Govner should lead the charge. Maybe he and the Lt gov. should take a 10% pay cut. Eliminate use of the state plane. Heres an idea. Maybe he should pay rent on the gov. mansion and pay his own utilities.

Hooligan_016 5 years, 9 months ago

For all you posters rah-rahing about putting people out of work, you know, at one time KDOT was considered one of the top transportation agencies in the nation. Deb Miller saw what was coming after BBack was elected and got the hell out of here. This current slide into mediocrity and ineffectiveness is not something to be cheering on.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 9 months ago

What gets me is how many of these "smaller government" folks who don't care if people are put out of work also complain about the unemployment rate not dropping...and blame it on Obama/Democrats/liberals.

It never appears to cross their mind that putting people out of work and the unemployment rate not dropping are inextricably linked together.

It's weird. Really weird. Give them what they want...and they don't like the results.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years, 9 months ago

Don't expect rational explanations from inherently irrational actions. We are living in the novel 1984. Sam Brownback is the boot stomping on our faces.

Maddy Griffin 5 years, 9 months ago

Let's start with Cedar Crest.Cut the budget in that mansion by 10%. Let Brownback eat rice and beans once a week.Have his wife take on 10% of the cooking cleaning and general maintenance of that place. And make our dear Governor mow his own lawn.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

You'll have to get disappeared again before that's even remotely possible.

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

What's sophomoric about the Governor pulling his own weight? He expects the citizens of this state to make sacrifices. He and his family should too.

oldbaldguy 5 years, 9 months ago

the state constitution requires a no deficiency budget. the only way to do that is make cuts once the taxes stop coming in.

somebodynew 5 years, 9 months ago

Yes, but the only people seeing the tax cuts are the rich. The regular people won't see them, they will just be switched from one tax to a different one.

And I don't mind cutting waste, but that is NEVER where the cuts go. The waste will continue, there will just be less people to try to find it.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 9 months ago

For God's sake, the state budget doesn't say a thing about the necesssity of cutting the very taxes that generate the most income, either. There is a great deal to be said for living within our means as a state, but very little to be said about creating a lose-lose situation that makes the smaller earners bear the most burden. In what way is this either fair or moral? How can you support this backwards policy whereby the state recognizes a need (balance the budget) but makes the lesser-earning portion of the taxpayers pa a larger share of their income to the state?

cowboy 5 years, 9 months ago

Brownbacks lies are seeing daylight very quickly. Cut taxes and the increased revenue will more than make up for the giveaways. New jobs and businesses will flock to Kansas. We'll be swimming in revenue.

Well oops aw crap , that ain't happeniing. Lets start cutting state budgets.

This whole thing is a completely dishonest attempt to starve the state coffers which is a well documented right wing strategy.


trinity 5 years, 9 months ago

"People let's have discussion without going sophomoric..." Practice what you preach.

headdoctor 5 years, 9 months ago

Really SageonPage. You and your ilk thought Obama should have fixed the US economy that was in shambles from previous administrations in the first week of being in office. This is just Kansas. Surly that could be fixed in just a day or two.

Believe me Sage, we get it. The Republicans can do something and it is perfect. Obama can do the same thing and you are outraged that he has done it all wrong. This isn't sophomoric on your part. It is right down ignorant and childish.

question4u 5 years, 9 months ago

So, there will be "'dramatic reductions' in tobacco settlement monies, which fund several children's programs" on top of 10% across-the-board reductions.

Children will just need to keep a stiff upper lip, since the people of Kansas have decided that it's more important to give tax breaks to the wealthy than to protect the health of children or look out for their education. The stink of Brownback ethics has become the stink of Kansas ethics. It clings to the bodies of people across the state, and it rises to high heaven. The idea that Kansas is a "Christian" state is laughable. Spitting on the Bible would be less of an affront to Jesus than the attitudes that the self-righteous hypocrites of Kansas have toward the sick and the poor.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

As if you really give a crap about them. You have only one concern-- being a battering ram for your ideology of mean-spirited pettiness and uncompromising partisanship.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 9 months ago

That has what to do with the comment? Do you ever--------oh, never mind, I remember all your prior incarnations, and, no you never.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 9 months ago

Well, I can guarantee that my husband and I gave a lot more and did a lot more than you did, sageon.

Patricia Davis 5 years, 9 months ago

Time for all moderates, independents and democrats to vote democrat in fall election to take the senate. The best we can hope for is gridlock until we can get rid of Brownback.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

The folks who want to cut government down to a size small enough to "drown in a bathtub" don't care about stuff like that.

Nor does Brownback, who has already cut funding that has resulted in the loss of federal funding.

JackMcKee 5 years, 9 months ago

Brownback is giving up so soon on his fantasy of businesses rushing into Kansas due to his farcical tax cut. Obviously this was his plan from the beginning. This is his model for the Nation. Yikes.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

The big problem for me is that many on the left can never seem to find waste to cut in government spending, while the right wants to cut way too much, and cut into valuable services.

Anybody out there who really wants to determine waste, and cut that without affecting services?

JackMcKee 5 years, 9 months ago

Kansas has already cut services to the bone. I don't think there is much left to cut without a seriously negative impact on our basic infrastructure.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

I agree.

I meant more in general - where are the reasonable voices that want to identify actual waste, and cut that without cutting services?

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

They get drowned out by the extremists.

There is no incentive for the extremists to eliminate waste and fraud. They need it so they can justify brutal cuts to agencies and government services that they don't agree with.

Personally, I'd rather start with eliminating waste and fraud. We could see what the impact of those actions would be and it would also be a way to determine if actual cuts are needed.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

Me too.

But why aren't there voices on the left advocating for that?

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

There are. You just don't hear about them because moderates (and there plenty of moderate liberals out there). They get shouted out by extremists on both sides.

Were you aware that the Health Care Reform Act has many provisions in it dedicated to eliminating fraud and waste?

Also recent changes to SNAP also combat fraud more aggressively.

But you don't hear much about this because of DEATH PANELS!!! and WELFARE QUEENS!!!

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

Maybe moderates of all political leanings should get together to make their voices heard more clearly.

It's frustrating to me that the extremists get the airtime, while moderates disappear, especially since I believe that most Americans are more moderate than extreme.

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

Most moderates are too busy to do that. Look on here, for example.

The extremists seem to have lots of time on their hands to post all day long &, when bounced, to sign up under a ton of new usernames. They like their own posts and like other similar sounding posts to make it seem like their opinion is the popular one.

Extremists get airtime because they are the loudest and the most outrageous. The squeaky wheel gets the grease is the best adage to describe them.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 9 months ago

No, that's just your words falling on deaf, but discerning, ears.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

The waste and fraud seems to be happening more at the top. Art Laffer for $75,000? Two guys to do a job previously filled by one person at a cost of $100k + benefits each? Some dude with a diploma mill degree to fill an important position in the state?

There's a lot of fraud and waste. It just ain't coming from school teachers and kids on WIC.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 9 months ago

jafs...there are tons of us. But we don't want to be politicians.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

What discussion would you like to have exactly?

Calling on all state agencies to cut 10% without determining whether they can do that without harming people, and cutting useful services, isn't the beginning of a conversation.

If our governor had wanted that conversation, he would have asked the agencies if they could find some waste to cut, and efficiencies to implement.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

He'd have asked before proposing the budget instead of assuming and asking after.

4getabouit 5 years, 9 months ago

It's a free country "WristTwister." For now at least. Go put on your Brownie suit raise your arm.

"Seig Heil Mein Fuhrer Brownback."

4getabouit 5 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 9 months ago

This is a perfect example of how rt wing Libertarians are simply the worst managers of tax dollars and managing government.

What Sam Brownback is doing is what this party has been doing since coming to power in Kansas. They are preparing to insure that government agencies cannot accomplish their work by slowly but surely defunding. Then we will hear that government cannot take care of business.

Democrats and republicans need to come together in November to vote out republican new faces and vote in new democrats. This governor is preparing to sell off Kansas government to a campaign contributors as is conforming to Libertarian economic policy. Corporate campaign contributors are waiting for OUR tax dollars which of course will not save money but will please campaign contributors.

Sam Brownback and Grover Norquist have been wanting to implement TABOR for years no matter that it is as much a failure as Reagan's supply side economics.

Meet TABOR the ultimate destruction of state government:

Sadiejane 5 years, 9 months ago

It is happening with child support staff as well. I've heard that in one office every single CSE worker was given an unsatisfactory evaluation. Not because they don't work hard or do good work, but they have made the expectations unattainable.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 9 months ago

The Sam Brownback long term agenda was not visible during his campaign for governor which of course will not be friendly to ton of republicans and of course democrats.

The Sam Brownback long term agenda can be found at:

Countryfied12 5 years, 9 months ago

Brownback hosed the state again this week with Kdot running at 60% staff, lets lay off 40 more people and to boot hire more consultants, spend money like the state has it, again another reason why I cant wait to see the elections when he gets booted. He needs to cut his staff not hire more top end people to drive us deeper into debt. Just so everyone knows that would be 40 more jobs he LOST this week not gained.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 9 months ago

Brownback cuts taxes on business and the wealthy and hen makes state agencies, which employ middle class folks, to propose a 10% cut. Nice.

Redistributionist crony capitalism.

Why 10%, Sam What data led you to that number.

Oh, I forgot. The answer is "Because I said so".

Sam the command economist. China could not have done it better.

tomatogrower 5 years, 9 months ago

His office said agencies should prepare for possible economic problems "that are beyond our control."

Beyond their control? So who are they going to blame for this financial disaster? Beyond their control? What a jerk. It's all your fault, and we are not going to let you or the people of Kansas forget it. Where are all the jobs that are going to come in and pay for your tax cuts to the wealthy? When are these people going to start creating jobs? Oh right, they really aren't, and you, Brownback are a liar.

JackMcKee 5 years, 9 months ago

It's Sam's grand experiment. It was obvious he would try to pawn the fallout on something else. Sorry, Sam, this baby is all yours.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

They're about to be sued for Olmstead violations. So they'll blame all the disabled people for the indignity of demanding that the state abide by the law.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 9 months ago

Tell you what, fhnc, you email me through this site and I will be happy to accompany you to any Kansas "government complex", camera in hand, and we'll take pictures and write down names and interview supervisors and we'll report back to this forum and to the rest of the state the egregious "lounging" that we observe.

Got any guts, mister? I'm ready when you are. Put up or shut up. I expect neither from you.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 9 months ago

Like it or not, each one of those government workers is also a "sovereign person".

And to proclaim that this person is sucking that person's individual productivity dry simply based on where they work is ridiculous. You don't seem to be able to see the big picture at all. That's very sad.

average 5 years, 9 months ago

"Beyond our control" == "Our penciled-in projections of 6% growth forever somehow don't come true in a nation (and world) that's only growing at ~1.5%". I mean, who could have forseen that?

Biker 5 years, 9 months ago

Gov't needs to live with in our means, otherwise the taxpayers become a slave to the government. Social justice and equality is just one of the many masks of tyranny. The smaller the government, the freer the people. I support a society of free citizens.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 9 months ago

But in the case of Kansas, only the lower-earning taxpayers have become slaves to the government. The tax cut Brownback recently signed gave a larger proportional cut to the upper income bracket, thus leaving the lower income folks to pay a higher proportion of their income in taxes. That does sound like slavery, but not of the kind of which you speak.

verity 5 years, 9 months ago

The election isn't over yet. Get out the vote in November.

Steve Jacob 5 years, 9 months ago

Tax cuts just don't provide the jobs you think. And for sure not right away. High taxes is not the answer either. What saved to state was the 1% sales tax that's going away, a plan a moderate Democratic governor got moderate Republicans to vote for. Both sides working together for the good of all Kansans, what an odd idea!

Stu Clark 5 years, 9 months ago

I can go along with that! Paul Ryan, Scott Walker and Sam B. are all perfect examples.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 9 months ago

What on earth are you talking about??? Have you ever actually owned a successful business? I doubt it.

No...wait. Let me correct that. Have you ever actually owned a successful business that you incorporated correctly for the best tax benefits and legal protections? No. Of course you haven't. Had you done would never be making such a silly argument.

As every single successful business owner with employees in this country will tell you, "we don't hire additional workers unless demand is such that we NEED additional workers! What would you have them do? Sit on their butts and twiddle their thumbs while we pay them? Thanks for the tax breaks...but we are not hiring anyone just because you gave us tax cuts."

Brownback has given massive tax breaks to “pass-through entities”. So...a guy working for himself no longer has to pay taxes. How does that create jobs?

And the US Treasury has reported that 88% of the owners of pass-through entities and sole proprietorships own businesses that spend less than $10,000 on payroll or contract labor. How does eliminating their taxes "create jobs"???

Yet, all of this income is exempt without any requirement that beneficiaries create — or even maintain — a single job!!!

And then we have Brownback claiming that "high income earners" will "flock" to Kansas because he's lowering the state income tax. Uh...there are 9 other states with ZERO state income tax. Why on earth would anyone "flock" to Kansas. What on earth do we have to offer that is better that, say, Texas, Florida, Washington, New Hampshire (with no sales tax, either)??

The only think we're going to have "flock" to Kansas are pass-throughs that won't create jobs here. (Kinda like those corporations who have a tiny office with a single employee in the Dominican Republic. created one lousy job in the D.R..)

Our unemployment rate has gone up from 6.1% to 6.3%. And it will go up even further because of people who do not understand why businesses hire additional workers...who do not understand how things are linked together...who apparently do not even do well at basic arithmetic.

JackMcKee 5 years, 9 months ago

We should have a nice fire sale on all the empty homes from people vacating the state. The fallout from this stupidity is going to be far reaching and long lasting. Hopefully this is the final nail in the coffin of Art Laffer, AFP, the Kochs and trickle down voodoo economics. It's sad that so many people will have to suffer through this experiment.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

History and math were never strong areas for you, were they?

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 9 months ago

OMG. Obama spends all his time on Wikipedia editing entries? I did not know that.

And perhaps you ought to do some more research, yourself. I mean, Reagan did raise taxes 11 times after his initial big tax cut...and eventually stored half of the cut funding. His reasoning? "Fiscal responsibility". And that is what Brownback seems to be missing....any sense of fiscal responsibility.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

And, Reagan tripled the national debt.

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

This is quote from someone on another site but it certainly rings true.

"People who love Reagan don't understand the time value of money and the fact that we are basically paying the bill now for the "good times" of the 80's. Reagan was the first credit card President.?

sciencegeek 5 years, 9 months ago

"Beyond our control"? The reduction in the tobacco settlement isn't a surprise. What happens in our country or other economies was no concern when they were making their projections to justify massive tax cuts. And that tax cut bill wasn't signed by Casper the Ghost. And all these potential problems just happened to be discovered within days of being handed total control --and total responsibility for -- what happens to the state in the next few years.

Yeah, right. And I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell ya.

headdoctor 5 years, 9 months ago

Marxist and Marxism must be the new Republican buzz words. I have even seen it on bumper stickers slamming Obama. I wonder who they hired to spell it for them. To bad they didn't bother to learn what it means before they started using it in a sentence.

Sadiejane 5 years, 9 months ago

So, I wonder if the DCF ten percent cut will affect the central office staff that were hired by Sam as favors for supporting his religious campaign/agenda. Hmm, like maybe Anna Pilato...who was hired as Director of Faith Based Initiatives by Siedlecki, who also happened to be her boyfriend at the time (allegedly) . . . when he left in December (rumors are he found another woman to share his "family values" with), she stayed behind. They changed her title, though I'm pretty sure her salary is the same at almost $100,000 a year.

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