Archive for Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Kansas Action for Children criticizes Brownback’s plan to divert funds from children’s endowment

April 30, 2013


— Gov. Sam Brownback has proposed taking $9.5 million from an endowment fund set up to pay for early-childhood programs and transferring that to the state's all-purpose general fund to help balance the budget.

Advocates for children are unhappy with the proposal. "We are taking money from little kids to bail the state out," Shannon Cotsoradis, president and chief executive officer of Kansas Action for Children, said Tuesday.

In his budget amendment, Brownback said the state recently received $68 million as part of its annual share of the landmark lawsuit with Big Tobacco companies. The amount was larger than expected, so the transfer of $9.5 million to the general fund, he said, will not affect any of the children's programs.

The state has budgeted $55.8 million for children's programs from the tobacco settlement. But Cotsoradis argues that the difference between the annual tobacco settlement and what is budgeted for children's programs, which is $12 million, should be kept in what is called the Kansas Endowment for Youth.

The KEY fund was established in 1999 as a conduit for the state to receive money from the settlement with tobacco companies. Most of the funds are appropriated annually to a multitude of early-childhood education programs. A portion of the money was supposed to be held back over the years to ensure funding of those early-childhood programs once the tobacco settlement runs its course in 2025.

Kansas Action for Children says that the endowment should contain $216 million at this point. It currently has a balance of $1.165 million.

Brownback isn't the first Kansas governor to raid the KEY, but Cotsoradis said this time is different.

In the past, funds were diverted from the KEY because the state was suffering economic problems, she said. Now, she said, Brownback needs the funding because he signed into law tax cuts that cut too deeply.

"This is a mess of our own making," she said. "Tax cuts shouldn't come at the expense of access to high-quality early-education opportunities for Kansas children."

Last year, Brownback signed into law cuts in the state personal income tax and the elimination of state income taxes for nearly 200,000 business owners.

The loss of tax revenue has sent Brownback and legislators scrambling for revenue from other sources. The Legislature is set to return May 8 to write a budget and work on tax issues.


sciencegeek 5 years, 1 month ago

I just heard the results of a study that showed Kansas ranked 37th in the nation in spending for preschool education.

This is yet another desperate attempt to find money to pay for Brownback's economic experiment. Once again, the rich are being bailed out by the non-rich, in this case, by our children.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 1 month ago

For every 1000 preschoolers that qualify for Head Start in the state of Kansas, there are only slots for SIX of them. This ranks up there with Mississippi. Gee Kansas, you hit the big time.

Henry Schwaller 5 years, 1 month ago

Under Brownback's tax plan, everyone loses - except for Charlie and Dave Koch.

oldexbeat 5 years, 1 month ago

and Brownback's wife's family -- don't forget the family....

Maggie Morrissey 5 years, 1 month ago

The fact that he would propose such a cut is an example that Gov. Brownback does have his finger on the pulse of the families of Kansas and our children's right to a quality education. You will not only further burden families with additional expenses but the teachers who are already stretched financially due to such low pay will also take another hit. Teachers are forced to utilize money out of their own pockets to cover needs in their classrooms affected by the cuts. He (Gov. Brownback) also hopes that we are not paying attention and that we have no plans to make him accountable come Election Day. Fellow Kansas voters……pay heed to more than just the phog!!! This is not ok! Gov. Brownback is bad for Kansas!!!! Let's see him to the door!!!

GMom05 5 years, 1 month ago

Can't we just make him leave now and fix this mess???

Meatwad 5 years, 1 month ago

Brownback should talk to the head of Missouri prisons who says cut funding for the youngest and you'll pay the price later.

verity 5 years, 1 month ago

And the privatized prisons will make out like bandits. That's the agenda.

Bob Reinsch 5 years, 1 month ago

All this whining about kids needing food and education. I'm getting tired of it. When will you people realize that the millionaires and billionaires of this state need that money more. Those helicopters and 3rd/4th/5th home just don't buy themselves. And can a preschooler fully appreciate the luxury of a G6? Hell, no! The rich need that money to buy more franchises so they can create minimum wage jobs, and feed you people plastic food made by Monsanto. Smile, and eat your GMO burger!

webmocker 5 years, 1 month ago

TOPEKA — Gov. Sam Brownback has proposed taking the first born child of every Kansas woman to sell on the open market with the proceeds to go to the general fund to help balance the budget.

bevy 5 years, 1 month ago

I'd pay money to see him try to carry off my firstborn. SHE would kick his butt all the way back to Topeka!

verity 5 years, 1 month ago

No doubt a lot of people would pay money to see that. A great way to make up for lost tax revenue.

WilburM 5 years, 1 month ago

Even after 2 1/2 years of Brownback, and a full legislative session of craziness, this callous action just leaves me speechless.

DScully 5 years, 1 month ago

Totally unacceptable!!! Shame on you SB, and your minions!!!!

915_Stroker 5 years, 1 month ago

"Kansas", it seems is being Governed By Charlie and good o"l Dave, Buy the naismith rules,$1.2 million, Buy building to put the piece of paper in, $ 2 million,Give to the state, total $ 3.2 million, = no state TAXES for 2013, Was this Brownbacks Idea or Sooooooooooooooooombody elses ?, But the real cost of this piece of paper, is probably what ever charlie and GOOOOD o"l Dave paided in State Taxes in 2012, or more, yea probably more?, does any one know what they did pay in taxes in 2012, Dollar amount Please, I would like to Know ? could someone look this up and tell us? how about you SHAM, I mean SCAM, OH Im sorry I meant SAM. Ethel Murphy

LegendaryBeast 5 years, 1 month ago

Does Brownback think that being elected governor of the state gives him the legal power to do whatever he pleases? Many of his ideas border on criminal! Are there not checks and balances in this state that are looking into the legality of his actions? Stealing from children is illegal for anyone else in the state. Why is Sam not being investigated for this? If I said I planned to take 150 dollars from a few children to help out my financial situation, I'd be put in jail! Why is Sam still walking the streets?!?!

Doug Fisher 5 years, 1 month ago

He only cares about you until your born, after that, well your just screwed!

Mike1949 5 years, 1 month ago

That is the reason he is against abortion, he needs more mouths to take food out of with his tax cuts!

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