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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Brownback plans to sign more aggressive tax-cutting bill after Senate halts alternative

May 18, 2012

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— Gov. Sam Brownback said Friday he will sign into law a deficit-producing tax cut after the Senate blocked a less aggressive measure to cut taxes.

Brownback said he would release next week plans for a bill signing ceremony on a measure that a state financial projection estimates would drive the budget into a negative ending balance ranging from $2.5 billion to $3 billion by 2018.

Brownback and his team, however, have disputed the forecast, saying the tax cuts will jolt the economy, producing jobs and revenues.

"We will have pro-growth tax reform in Kansas this year that will create tens of thousands of jobs and will make our state the best place in America to start and grow a small business," Brownback said.

"I look forward to signing the bill on my desk and I call on legislators to finalize their work on the budget based on the enactment of Senate Sub. for HB 2117. The legislative session needs to conclude," he said.

Moderate Republicans, Democrats and even some conservative Republicans have said the bill Brownback intends to sign would crater the budget.

Democrats and moderate Republicans have said the tax cuts pushed by Brownback would increase the tax burden on low income Kansans to benefit the wealthy, while robbing funds for schools, social services and public safety.

Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugton, said, “We are asking for a responsible tax package that addresses the concerns of a large majority of Kansans while leaving room in the budget to restore cuts to classrooms and public safety.

“If we do not show good-faith and restore cuts to education, the courts may certainly tell us to add money to education this summer," Morris said referring to a school finance lawsuit.

Senate Vice President John Vratil, R-Leawood, said, “The governor has told numerous senators that the state cannot afford House Bill 2117. The bill on his desk could well bankrupt the state and lead to massive cuts in our classrooms, roads and public safety. It is the governor’s responsibility to the state of Kansas to veto House Bill 2117." A group of former legislators called Traditional Republicans for Common Sense also called on Brownback to veto that bill.

Instead, Brownback said he intends to sign it.

“It is unfortunate that the Kansas Senate has refused even to debate a tax compromise bill that would have provided Kansans tax relief. However, strengthening the Kansas economy cannot wait," he said.

Brownback's statement came after the Senate voted 21-18 against removing a procedural hurdle to debate a proposed tax cut drafted earlier by Republican House and Senate tax negotiators. State Sens. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, and Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, both voted with the majority. Even that proposal, critics of the bill said, would prevent the state from providing funds to needed services.

That bill would have lowered individual income tax rates and phased out taxes on non-wage income for 191,000 businesses over six years.

A separate bill — House Bill 2117 — that made the cuts quicker had already made it to Brownback's desk.

House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, called the bill that Brownback wants to sign the "nuclear option."

"It is completely irresponsible to purposefully sign a reckless bill `in hopes' that it can be fixed later," Davis said.

Comments

bobberboy 1 year, 11 months ago

It is up to our elected officials to bring some common sense to bare upon the mind of this extremist gov. We voters will be watching to see what happens and will work hard to put out of office those responsible for not putting the people of Kansas first. Not only the rich but for the poor middle classes as well. We cannot afford this fanatics failings to understand even the simplist aspects of fiscal responsibility !

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anotherview 1 year, 11 months ago

Why is Brownback going to Wichita to sign this bill? Is it because it's where the Koch brothers live.

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KSWingman 1 year, 11 months ago

The "front page, above the fold" photo on the LJW online is:

http://media.lawrence.com/img/croppedphotos/2012/05/18/IMG_9040w_r640x284.jpg?b9dcc2caa14ff6e8b480f4ac9a5c19f56e789fad

The caption says, "Gov. Sam Brownback said Friday he will sign into law a deficit-producing tax cut after the Senate blocked a less aggressive measure to cut taxes."

I'm pretty sure that's not Gov. Sam Brownback.

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handley 1 year, 11 months ago

History shows that tax cuts never boosts the economy or creates jobs,

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 11 months ago

The Brownback tax dollar give aways are never ending....

Publicopoly Exposed

How ALEC, the Koch brothers and their corporate allies plan to privatize government.

ALEC nuts and bolts

ALEC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that in recent years has reported about $6.5 million in annual revenue. ALEC’s members include corporations, trade associations, think tanks and nearly a third (about 2,000) of the nation’s state legislators (virtually all Republican). According to the group’s promotional material, ALEC’s mission is to “advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty, through a nonpartisan public-private partnership of America’s state legislators, members of the private sector, the federal government, and general public.”

ALEC currently claims more than 250 corporations and special interest groups as private sector members. While the organization refuses to make a complete list of these private members available to the public, some known members include:

  • Wal-Mart
  • Exxon Mobil
  • the Corrections Corporation of America
  • AT&T
  • Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
  • Time Warner Cable
  • Comcast
  • Verizon
  • Phillip Morris International
  • Koch Industries
  • along with a host of right-wing think tanks and foundations.

ALEC is composed of nine task forces–(1) Public Safety and Elections, (2) Civil Justice, (3) Education, (4) Energy, Environment and Agriculture, (5) Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development, (6) Telecommunications and Information Technology, (7) Health and Human Services, (8) Tax and Fiscal Policy and (9) International Relations–each comprised of “Public Sector” members (legislators) and “Private Sector” members (corporations and interest groups).

Each of these task forces, which serve as the core of ALEC’s operations, generate model legislation that is then passed on to member lawmakers for introduction in their home assemblies. According to ALEC promotional material, each year member lawmakers introduce an average of 1,000 of these pieces of legislation nationwide, 17 percent of which are enacted. For 2009, ALEC claimed a total of 826 pieces of introduced legislation nationwide, 115 of which were passed into law–slightly below the average at 14 percent. ALEC does not offer its model legislation for public inspection.

ALEC refused to comment on any aspect of the material covered here.

More and more: http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/11603/publicopoly_exposed/

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 11 months ago

More blowing of tax dollars on the way...

Another Koch-funded stealth campaign Thursday, May 17, 2012 | Posted by Jim Hightower

Millions of children in our public schools will soon be hearing from the Heartland Institute. It might sound like a nice above board civic group promoting such salt-of-the-earth virtues as integrity and veracity, but quite the opposite.

Heartland's mission is to promote mass ignorance on behalf of its self-serving (and often heartless) corporate backers. It is yet another secretive far-right-wing front group funded by the Koch brothers' club of billionaires who're intent on establishing an unbridled corporate plutocracy in our country.

But this outfit was recently outed by someone who released a trove of its internal documents – including details of its multimillion-dollar stealth campaign to undermine the teaching of climate change science in America's schools. Heartland is creating an anti-science curriculum to pooh-pooh the facts of global weather change and planning to turn the issue into a major culture war in local school districts across the country. Falsely claiming that "Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective" and that climate change "is a major scientific controversy" the Institute and its right-wing allies are already pressuring school boards to adopt its denial curriculum, forcing teachers to water down the science.

The dishonesty of Heartland's campaign includes its shielding of the special interests behind it. When the campaign comes to your area, it won't tell local people that the Koch brothers – who own America's largest private oil corporation and are vituperative opponents of regulations to restrict their emissions of global warming pollutants – are putting up $200,000 for the effort this year.

To get to the dark heart of this insidious campaign, and to stand for science and truth in teaching, go to the National Center for Science Education at www.ncse.com.

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"In Documents, a Plan to Discredit Climate Teaching," www.nytimes.com, February 16, 2012.

http://www.jimhightower.com/node/7741

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 11 months ago

How is Brownback quietly blowing YOUR tax dollars?

Worker's taxes siphoned off by their bosses Thursday, April 26, 2012 | Posted by Jim Hightower

My congratulations to workers in 16 states – from Maine to Georgia, New Jersey to Colorado! Many of you will be thrilled to know that the income taxes deducted from your paychecks each month are going to a very worthy cause: your corporate boss.

Good Jobs First, a non-profit, non-partisan research center, has analyzed state programs meant to create jobs, but instead have created some $700 million a year in corporate welfare. This scam starts with the normal practice of corporations withholding from each employee's monthly check the state income taxes their workers owe.

But rather than remitting this money to pay for state services, these 16 states simply allow the corporations to keep the tax payments for themselves! Adding to the funkiness of taxation-by-corporation, the bosses don't even have to tell workers that the company is siphoning off their state taxes for its own fun and profit.

These heists are rationalized in the name of "job creation," but that's a hoax, too. They're really just bribes the states pay to get corporations to move existing jobs from one state to another, or they're hostage payments to corporations that demand the public's money – or else they'll move their jobs out of state.

Last year, Kansas used workers' withholding taxes to bribe AMC Entertainment with a $47 million payment to move its headquarters from downtown Kansas City, Missouri, to a KC suburb on the Kansas side, just 10 miles away. What a ripoff! Among the 2,700 corporations cashing in on such absurd diversions of state taxes from public need to private greed are Goldman Sachs, GE, Motorola, and Procter & Gamble.

For more information – and for ways you can help stop this despicable giveaway – get the full report, entitled "Paying Taxes to the Boss." It's available at www.GoodJobsFirst.org.

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rockchalk1977 1 year, 11 months ago

"a deficit-producing tax cut ". You make that statement like it's a absolute unequivocal fact. It is not by any stretch. Did Marci Francisco and Tom Holland help write this article? There is not even a pretense of fair and balanced with you anymore. Proper journalism is dead in Lawrence, KS. How sad!

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verity 1 year, 11 months ago

Brownback may actually be smarter than many give him credit for---or his handlers are. He now has deniability when this all turns into disaster, which it almost assuredly will.

Our once great state will continue on it's way to hell. When even the conservative Republicans are against this bill, it shows how very extreme it is.

So tell me, somebody who understands these things---it seems that most of the legislators are against this and yet---? A bunch of children playing in the sandbox who, in a snit, are willing to cut off their noses to spit their faces? I don't know.

One thing I do know---because of large amounts of money being spent by vested interests, we the common people have lost control of our state government.

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Lenette Hamm 1 year, 11 months ago

He needs to just GO AWAY!!! This administration is killing us!

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 11 months ago

"Brownback and his team, however, have disputed the forecast, saying the tax cuts will jolt the economy, producing jobs and revenues."

Are they liars or idiots? The track record over the last 30 years are crystal clear-- tax cuts don't produce either jobs or revenue.

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Cait McKnelly 1 year, 11 months ago

"The governor has taken us to the financial cliff, and only he has the ability to stop us from going over. This is not a game. The magnitude of this bill cannot be overstated, and the impact that it will have on our communities and schools will be real and unforgiving."- Former Chairwoman of the KS Republican Party, Rochelle Chronister.

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David Albertson 1 year, 11 months ago

Haven't we already tried this? Didn't G W Bush enact massive tax cuts mainly aimed at the wealthy? Weren't we told the economy would boom? We all know what happened in the years following. When will the GOP realize that tax cuts aren't a silver bullet? When is the GOP going to take responsibility for the fact that the Bush tax cuts are one of the main reasons for the ballooning debt the federal government is facing? When are GOP voters going to wake up and see that the tea party movement is actually damaging the Republican brand?

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JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 11 months ago

Jesus. Brownback wants Kansas to burn more than Quantill wanted Lawrence to burn 150 years ago.

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riverdrifter 1 year, 11 months ago

Go ahead and sign the bill, Guv. You baked this cake. Now eat it with your rusty fork. Go ahead. What'cha waitin' on?

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cowboy 1 year, 11 months ago

Unfit to Govern , this display of petulance by the tea party guberner is quite pathetic.

Heblowsalot

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Fossick 1 year, 11 months ago

When you play chicken, sometimes the other guy doesn't blink. That said, the fiscal armageddon 5 years hence is three elections and five legislative sessions away. There is not a person in Topeka who believes this will not be revisited next year, and the year after, and the year after...

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Jean Robart 1 year, 11 months ago

Sam, methinks thou art fooling thyself..

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commonsenseanyone 1 year, 11 months ago

Bring it on. I'm over taxed! 50% of Americans pay no income tax.

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JayhawksandHerd 1 year, 11 months ago

"Tax relief," he says. I guess he does have a point; after all, he will be relieving those of us who aren't wealthy of more of our money.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 11 months ago

Brownback will be the new poster boy for the reason you don't elect far right extremists (or commonly known as the tea party wing of the GOP) to positions of authority and responsibility. I'm starting to make back up plans to get the heck out of this place. Might as well look into places I've always wanted to live. Kansas is going down in flames. I'd rather rebuild my career somewhere stable and watch the spectacle from a distance.

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Bob_Keeshan 1 year, 11 months ago

It's not a tax cut, it is a tax shift.

The full burden of taxes will be on the poor and middle class through higher sales and property taxes. That will mean less money in the pockets of 90% of all Kansans.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 11 months ago

A signing ceremony, aka a funeral

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