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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Brownback’s budget director Anderson resigns

August 16, 2013

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— Gov. Sam Brownback's budget director, Steve Anderson, is resigning, it was announced today.

"I am grateful to Steve for his commitment to this state and his diligence as we returned fiscal solvency to Kansas," Brownback said. "His hard work has helped set the stage for Kansas to compete in a global economy."

Anderson, a certified public accountant and managing partner of Anderson Reichert Anderson LLC, was named budget director by Brownback in December 2010.

As a member of the Governor's Economic Growth Team, he worked to strengthen the economy and create jobs for Kansans, Brownback said

"I have been honored to serve the state I love for the past three years," Anderson said. "My family has supported me without question as I spent the majority of time away from them. It is time for me to be with my wife and our boys, and enjoy our time as a family," he said. His family lives in Oklahoma.

Anderson's resignation will be effective Aug. 31. Policy Director Jon Hummel will serve as interim budget director until Brownback names a permanent replacement.

Earlier this year, The Wichita Eagle reported that there was a $2 billion error in a chart that Brownback had used to take credit for state spending cuts.

Anderson said the spreadsheet that led to the incorrect number was formed before he was appointed, but he took responsibility for it. He said he offered to resign at that time, but Brownback rejected the offer.

Democrats alleged that the incorrect numbers were politically motivated to make it appear that Brownback had cut spending.

Brownback’s choice of Anderson as state budget director raised eyebrows because of Anderson’s previous work with Americans for Prosperity, an organization founded by billionaire David Koch that promotes cuts in taxes, regulations and the size of government.

In 2009, Anderson and the Kansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity proposed a “model budget” for Kansas. In that document, AFP said the biggest problem with the budget is “unconstrained growth of state spending.”

The group called for a cut in the state income tax, cuts in state spending, including Medicaid, and a voucher program in which tax dollars would be used to pay tuition for students to attend private schools. The plan also called for a program to allow tax credits for donations to scholarship funds for low-income children to attend private schools.

The plan also recommended higher tuition at public universities and schools. “There is no reason to tax the majority in the state who do not have children attending a state institution in order to subsidize those who do, especially when there is evidence it is the more affluent citizens who are more likely to have children enrolled in higher education,” the document said.

Earlier this week, Anderson met with the Kansas Board of Regents. During that discussion, Anderson praised Brownback's fiscal policies, including income tax cuts, and the state's higher education system. He urged regents to improve communication with the Legislature's conservative leaders, who last session approved funding cuts to universities.

Comments

William Weissbeck 8 months ago

“There is no reason to tax the majority in the state who do not have children attending a state institution in order to subsidize those who do, especially when there is evidence it is the more affluent citizens who are more likely to have children enrolled in higher education,” the document said.

Is that supposed to be praise for the current system or a condemnation of our elementary and secondary school system? Wouldn't the correct response be to provide state funded, need based scholarships instead of not funding higher ed. at all?

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Nani700 8 months ago

Tax money is not intended for tuition for private schools. Tax money is money the state takes in to fund public schools. I know. I attended parochial schools 1--12 by choice. Never did hear my parents or parents of my classmates complain about paying taxes to support public schools. They knew those taxes paid for the education of neighbor's and friends's kids and that it was the obligation of the state to provide that education. They made their choice and made the sacrifices necessary to pay that bill. But, of course, that was before the "me" generation.

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hedshrinker 8 months ago

Both the Gov's and Director Anderson's children attend private school I believe? What do they know or care about the state of public K-12 education? Especially Anderson, who isn't even in the state of Ks much of the time, but home in Oklahoma...good riddance... I'm frankly shocked at the backward idea about education funding espoused in Anderson's statement about all taxpayers not needing to support higher education, since it's just offspring of the wealthy elite who attend college anyway....good way to ensure that poor and middle class offspring will NEVER be able to afford college, in spite of the fact that it's pretty much a necessity in today's job mkt....college or some kind of post-HS training. These people are either willfully blind, stupid or so arrogant and insular they just don't care what happens to anyone beyond their elite group.

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Mike Ford 8 months ago

you know when Reagan Economic Advisor David Stockman said that supply side economics didn't work two decades later Kansas voters simply decided not to listen. Maybe in 2014 sane voters should let these people know this nonsense doesn't work at the polls and finally put this mythology to rest.

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Les Blevins 8 months ago

Friends and Neighbors, Right now the Bureau of Land Management -- the agency responsible for managing publicly-owned federal lands -- is making up rules that could allow fracking to start on public land across the United States. That means more toxic chemicals, millions of gallons of wastewater and digging out more climate-cooking fossil fuels -- all on land that we, the people, own. America's public lands are vast, and much of them untouched -- which is why big oil and gas will push hard to drill. To push back, we're joining a movement-wide effort to flood the BLM with comments demanding they stop fracking on public lands. Hundreds of thousands have already been submitted, and we only have a few more days before the comment period closes. Will you join the flood of comments to the BLM to keep public lands frack-free? Click here to submit a comment: act.350.org/letter/public-lands-fracking/ As the planet heats up, there's no excuse to go drilling for more fossil fuels on America's public lands. Fracking is a climate disaster. Every step of drilling and moving gas leaks methane, a very powerful greenhouse gas, and what doesn't leak gets turned into CO2 (which we already have too much of anyways). American public lands should be used to support a livable future for Americans, not the bottom lines of the fossil fuel industry. The comment period closes early next week, and a big flood of comments would shake up the normally sleepy bureaucracy and send a strong message that the BLM has the support they need to stop fracking in its tracks.

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Les Blevins 8 months ago

Brownback said; "I am grateful to Steve" "His hard work has helped set the stage for Kansas to compete in a global economy" but Brownback himself has not done his job well at all. I had my attorney send the Governor a letter that he didn't answer, (presumably because the Koch Brothers wouldn't approve because what I proposed might set in motion a trend that leads to increased energy efficiency and independence) in which she wrote; Dear Governor Brownback: Our firm represents Advanced Alternative Energy Corporation (“AAEC”) and its owner, Les Blevins.
Mr. Blevins has noted that you have “vowed to balance the state budget without a tax increase and improve the economy” and he believes his new energy technology can be a useful empowerment tool in helping universities and various agencies in the State of Kansas work together and achieve this important task. Mr. Blevins believes that the manufacturing and installation of city and county scale energy efficiency products based on this new concept technology could create hundreds if not thousands of jobs in Kansas and around the nation. Mr. Blevins also believes that products could be manufactured in Kansas for residential, business, utility, governmental, institutional and military applications. Excess manufacturing capacity in the state could be readily adapted for the production of small, medium and large scale energy efficiency and alternative energy production units to repower America and to address global warming - without harming the coal industry - by using the AAEC technology as a clean coal repowering technology.
Mr. Blevins would like to point out that most feedstock conversion systems focus on one or two feedstocks while the Advanced Alternative Energy conversion technology is designed to operate on a wide variety of feedstocks. Increasingly, "Trickle Up" technology is being seen as a viable way to repower the nation and the world via distributed clean energy solutions. This provides a backup for regional installations of solar and wind energy and enables the use of various types of biomass and waste resources which can be dispatched – on an as needed basis - when solar and wind are found to be insufficient. AAEC's Sequential Grates system is designed to enable the use of a wide variety of available low-cost or negative cost feedstocks at county scale biorefineries, as well as enable the processing of those feedstocks using the best combustion, gasification or pyrolysis conversion processes available at the operator's discretion as it considers available feedstocks and desired end products. Such disruptive technology is also increasingly viewed by the U.S. Department of Energy and others as what is most needed for the repowering of entire communities with renewable energy. Please contact Mr. Blevins at 785/842-1943 or me at 785/843-0811 for additional information. Mr. Blevins is eager to work with state agencies and involve universities in the proposed project.

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oldexbeat 8 months ago

$2 billion error from former Koch Brothers Ltd LLC employee which allowed Liar Sammy to cut income taxes for billionaire Koch Brothers Ltd LLC -- what a scam. "My mistake" Oh. And I'm going to work for the bros again, no doubt. Rats off the ship? Probably.

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JayhawkFan1985 8 months ago

Brownback and his cronies are plundering Kansas. All animals are created equal...some animals are more equal than others.

Question. How does a licensed CPA make a $1 billion accounting error and not lose his license? Is it because the licensure board is controlled by Brownback? Just asking...

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IreneAdler84 8 months ago

Why has no one pointed out the effects of this tax scheme on family farmers? The family farmers I know are income poor and land rich. A tax plan that relies on increased property taxes to make up for reduced income taxes will bite them in the ass. Same for retired Kansans, many of whom pay no state taxes on their 401ks, but may still own their own home.

Maybe Anderson decided to "get the h@ll out of Dodge" before those nice folks in Western KS realize that this tax plan is going to kill the family farm (the few that are left) and deplete grandpa and grandma's retirement account.

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plainspeaking 8 months ago

The accounting firm mentioned in this article is actually his mother, Mary Anderson's, firm in Osborne, Kansas. He doesn't work or live there. I understand that he plans on returning to Oklahoma to "spend more time with family."

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dabbindan 8 months ago

Fiscal solvency Sam??? You've got to be kidding me!

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Richard Heckler 8 months ago

Stop and take a deep breath. Millions of jobs have been lost to Reagan/Bush and Bush/Cheney New World Order Global Economy scams that sent our economies down the tubes and jobs abroad never to return. This doesn't create jobs in America. Corrupt Wall Street activity and monster fraud has killed jobs for millions of Americans. Sam Brownback was there in the beltway for a ton of this activity.

These have been dangerous business decisions and monster job killers for the USA financed by questionable and risky loan authorizations.

--- Mergers = industry and jobs lost to other countries.

--- Hostile Takeovers = industry and jobs lost to other countries.

--- Leveraged Buyouts = industry and jobs lost to other countries.

--- Free Trade Agreements = industry and jobs lost to other countries.

--- Why did the GOP Deliberately crash the USA economy? http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/09/did-republicans-deliberately-crash-us-economy

Meanwhile the GOP continue their efforts to destroy the USA economy over new economic growth. All of above ultimately translate into millions upon millions upon millions of blue and white collar USA job losses in most cases to evil dictatorships.

There was a time when becoming employed by corporate America came with long term employment, fine wages and dependable retirement benefits. Those days are gone.

All of the above has been played on the stage of New World Order Global Economy Scams at the expense of hard working Americans who made USA economics a powerful player.

2

Richard Heckler 8 months ago

"I am grateful to Steve for his commitment to this state and his diligence as we returned fiscal solvency to Kansas," Brownback said. "His hard work has helped set the stage for Kansas to compete in a global economy.: Said Gov. Brownback."

The global economy is not necessary. The result of the global economy fiasco has been 20 million unemployed Americans by way of 20 million American jobs being our chief export. I say the New World Order Global Economy concept is economic terrorism waged against the USA economy.

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Richard Heckler 8 months ago

Sam Brownback likes those beltway connections sanctioned by ALEC. The beltway is where the ALEC Right Wing Party introduced replacing republicans with ALEC Right Wing Thinkers while retaining the GOP name.

This was so successful that it is trickling down to the state levels throughout the the USA yet too many in the GOP don't know it. Duped again I say.

The ethical approach is the ballot process then again the GOP name could not have been retained. ALEC Right Wing Party chose the process known as fraud.

5

James Nelson 8 months ago

Still another out-of-stater brought in by Brownback to state government. Brownback talks of creating jobs and, yet, he won't hire a Kansan. I wish he wasn't so ashamed of the Kansas workforce.

17

globehead 8 months ago

"I am grateful to Steve for his commitment to this state and his diligence as we returned fiscal solvency to Kansas," Brownback said. "His hard work has helped set the stage for Kansas to compete in a global economy.: Said Gov. Brownback today.

From Feb. 18, 2013: "The director of the Kansas Budget Division issued a public apology Monday for an errant spending statistic that Gov. Sam Brownback has used for months to claim credit for state spending cuts that never happened."

(Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/02/18/4073418/state-budget-director-apologizes.html#storylink=cpy)

MONTHS!!! Oh, well! So, much for the "diligence" and "setting the stage for Kansas to compete in a global economy".

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Brian Hall 8 months ago

Brownback's director's seem to always leave before the poop hits the fan. I can never tell if it's because they choose to either like this reason or wanting to get out before the house of cards fall or if they leave because they are "persuaded" to. "You can either leave now or you can stay but if I have to defend this budget during my campaign, I will blame you and destroy your career."

Has any other recent administration had this much turnover? Brownback has lost at least five people from high profile agencies since taking office less than four years ago. How many people resigned during Sebelius/Parkinson and Graves and how many did it within the first term?

5

question4u 8 months ago

“'There is no reason to tax the majority in the state who do not have children attending a state institution in order to subsidize those who do...."

Right.

Basic research doesn't benefit anyone. A more educated work force doesn't affect prosperity. A lack of doctors doesn't create any problems. A more educated population has no correlation to crime rates. Social equality isn't hurt by reserving education for the wealthy. A less educated population doesn't affect military capability in the event of a major war and the need for conscription.

The Chinese clearly don't understand these things. That's why they're committing $250 billion more a year to higher education. Kansas can leave the rest of the world in the dust if it just wakes up and quits supporting higher education. If Kansans can convince the rest of the country to quit supporting higher education too then the United States will remain the most powerful nation on earth forever and ever.

Quit supporting higher education in Kansas and bring on that prosperity! It must work, because no other state has done it.

21

SynjynSmythe 8 months ago

A voucher program in which tax dollars would be used to pay tuition for students to attend private schools and allows tax credits for donations to scholarship funds for low-income children to attend private schools would be wonderful in every State! Too bad that the focus is on so many things, other than quality education.

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kansas_cynic 8 months ago

Are the rats finally starting to leave the sinking ship SS Brownback?

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tomatogrower 8 months ago

"I have been honored to serve the state I love for the past three years," Anderson said.

He lives in Oklahoma. He doesn't say he has been serving Kansas. Maybe he has been working with Brownback to make Kansas so bad that people want to move to Oklahoma?

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sciencegeek 8 months ago

A nuttier "true believer" you'd be hard-pressed to find. This guy has blinders to anything other than the rich, Koch-brother, ALEC-believing plutocrats. His superior attitude toward the lesser beings was well known. Which is why it's strange that Brownback is letting him go.

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