Archive for Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Statehouse Live: Brownback’s budget calls for no increase next year in school funding; abolishing mortgage interest tax deduction

January 16, 2013


— Gov. Sam Brownback's budget proposal was released today, and a first glance shows no increase in base state aid per pupil for public school students in the next fiscal year, which starts July 1. A three-judge panel has ordered a significant increase, ruling the state has shirked its constitutional duty to adequately fund schools.

Gov. Sam Brownback's Budget Director Steve Anderson speaks with Dave Trabert, president of the Kansas Policy Institute, and state Rep. Amanda Grosserode, R-Lenexa, before Anderson's presentation on the governor's budget proposal.

Gov. Sam Brownback's Budget Director Steve Anderson speaks with Dave Trabert, president of the Kansas Policy Institute, and state Rep. Amanda Grosserode, R-Lenexa, before Anderson's presentation on the governor's budget proposal.

Related document

Governor's budget overview ( .PDF )

The current level is $3,838 in base state aid per student. The governor's plan would maintain that level in the next school year, and then increase it to $3,852 in the 2014-15 school year. The court panel said the level should be $4,492, which would require a $440 million increase.

Brownback also calls for abolishing the mortgage interest tax deduction in his budget proposal.

The budget recommendation also includes $35 million in bonding authority and $10 million in state tax dollars for a medical education building at KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan.

More details to come.


Bruce Bertsch 5 years, 3 months ago

Robinhood in reverse is too kind for Sam the Sham. Assuming the people kill the Constitutional Amendment, where will the $$$ come from for education? Certainly not small business, I.e., Sub S corps like say Koch Industries. Welcome to Kansas, Mississippi on the Plains.

William Weissbeck 5 years, 3 months ago

At least Mississippi has tourists and better casinos. Boneheads like Bb (= size of brain) fail to understand that the states that rely on a sales tax instead of an income tax have a greater number of out of state "visitors" that they can hit with the tax. I'd be curious to know the reason behind the elimination of the mortgage interest deduction. It's not like there are many higher priced homes in Kansas outside of Johnson Co. And some of these are probably carrying very low interest rates. The people hurt are those in the mid range homes, but who don't have the best interest rates.

sciencegeek 5 years, 3 months ago

Removing the tax deduction on home mortgages will be a huge kick in the gut for middle-class home owners. And didn't they remove the deduction for child-care last year? is this how Brownback supports families??

What color is the sky in his eorld?

KU_cynic 5 years, 3 months ago

A $150K mortgage balance at today's interest rates generates about $5000/yr in interest payments. At Sam's proposed highest top income rate a taxpayer would forgo only about $200 a year in state tax savings. And, he's cutting the rate so he's giving back with one hand and then taking back with the other.

This removes a state-tax incentive for people to borrow more than they should to buy more house than they can afford. I think we can all live with that.

Bobby Burch 5 years, 3 months ago

Can you read, Toe? Brownie wants to eliminate tax deductions for property owners so he can make up for budgetary shortfalls caused by his massive income tax cuts. He WANTS to raise your sales taxes, and property taxes.

The state budget is funded by a proverbial three-legged stool: Property, sales and income taxes. When you cut off one leg (i.e. income taxes) the other two legs have to grow. Too bad its middle-class property owners that get the shaft again, as property taxes have more than doubled in KS during the last 20 years.

Ridiculous leadership in this state! Someone needs to start campaigning against him now.

riverdrifter 5 years, 3 months ago

Toe's reading comprehension is about eighth grade.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 3 months ago

I am starting to remember what a mouth full of dirt tastes like when a bully is sitting on your back.

Are the people of Kansas really this stupid?


Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 3 months ago

I thought you libs were for tax increases so we can re distribute wealth to those who did not earn it?

You should be all in for the termination of the interest deduction. No wait, this means that many in the 47% might actually have to help the tax base a little now... what a shame.

Catalano 5 years, 3 months ago

What does your avatar say? It's too tiny to read.

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

It should say, "I reject your reality and substitute my own."

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

Retirees and low wage workers (the "47%") generally aren't paying mortgages and will therefore not be affected. The deduction falls mainly on the middle and upper income brackets, but since the uppermost can often rearrange their income to be "small" business income like that of the Kochs, this is a tax hike on the middle class to help pay for the tax cut for the Kochs. It's redistribution, sure. Just a redistribution from the middle class to the rich.

tomatogrower 5 years, 3 months ago

And if people are rich enough they may have a house that's paid for. They may only have a mortgage, because of cheap interest and because they get a tax deduction. They will just pay off that mortgage faster now. It's the middle class who can't afford to pay it off that will be most affected.

straightforward 5 years, 3 months ago

Liberals have such a knee-jerk reaction to anything the governor does that they cant get on this website to bash him fast enough. Democrats should like the interest deduction part of this article. It creates effective tax rates that are even more progressive. You can throw out individuals like Charles Koch and use them to characterize "the rich" but the truth is there are very few people in the state in Koch's position. The majority of rich people who buy a house that fits their means will have a larger mortgage, and they will feel the impact of this most. Their income will continue to be redistributed to the poor.

On a somewhat related note - I know many middle class families who have paid off their mortgages. For someone who manages their money well and makes paying off their mortgage a priority, it's not that uncommon.

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

Or not. If it were in isolation, I actually wouldn't object to it. It's a popular "middle class" program, but the truth is that it unevenly benefits the rich as you point out, since the richer you are, the more house you can afford and the more likely you are to have enough interest to make a difference. I support limiting or capping the deduction on the federal level as well, and you'll note that I said it was primarily a middle and upper class deduction.

No, not everyone is the Kochs, but once you start getting in the upper brackets, you can negotiate your compensation packages in a manner that takes the most advantage of the tax code, whether you're a surgeon or an executive manager. Losing a deduction from zero obligation is still not losing a deduction.

And, yes. Paying off your mortgage is supposed to be something middle class families can do. That's why we had a mortgage crisis when that wasn't happening as often as it should.

verity 5 years, 3 months ago

As long as your mortgage interest is lower than the percentage you are receiving on your investments, it doesn't necessarily make sense to pay off a mortgage. Also, investments are generally more liquid. If paying off your mortgage means you don't have enough other liquid assets for unforeseen circumstances, you might have to get another mortgage. That could end up costing you more because rates may be higher and there are a lot of upfront costs.

sunflower13 5 years, 3 months ago

In other words, everyday in Kansas is "Take a Poor Billionaire to Lunch Day." Sometimes it feels like that to me.

Straightforward, you forgot to address the write offs part, and how some very rich pay no taxes at all. I will grant you that the majority are not in that boat. I think taxes must be raised and this is an appropriate way to do it under the circumstances. Signed, Liberal (I guess)

Mike1949 5 years, 3 months ago

Liberals are NOT for tax increases. You have been watching too much fox news propaganda!

cowboy 5 years, 3 months ago

Can't you just see the slobbery chuckling coming from the Koch boardroom. Honestly the changes this clown posse are making will run our state into the ground for the next decade. This guy is scary stupid.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

If we'd all put on the same ideological blinders RC wears, it wouldn't lead to any solutions, but we wouldn't care!!

Don't worry!! Be happy!!

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

Except that the evidence shows this is not the case. Places with strong teacher's unions and higher teacher funding actually have better outcomes, and vouchers don't lead to better education. We've got decades of evidence that can be studied on the issue.

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

"As Republican lawmakers push for expansion of Milwaukee's 20-year-old voucher program, state test results for the first time show voucher students performing "similar or worse" than other poor Milwaukee students, according to the Department of Public Instruction."

No conclusive achievement difference in voucher, MPS schools:

While voucher and public school students tested came from demographically similar families, "the families of the voucher children were better educated and more interested in their child's education, both before and after entering the program." (John Witte, et al., Fifth Year Report: Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1995; Achievement Effects of the Milwaukee Voucher Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1997)

The University of Arkansas research is not the first study that failed to show achievement gains among Milwaukee students receiving vouchers. As the study authors point out, a previous study by University of Wisconsin researcher John Witte compared voucher students to public school students from 1990-1995 and found “no clear evidence” that vouchers improved student achievement.

The results are unsurprising for those who follow research on voucher programs. Research on a controversial vouchers program in Washington, D.C. yielded similar results.

But if you want to object to teachers' unions, object to the one in Finland with more than 90% membership. And how they don't have vouchers and still manage to kick our butts.

rtwngr 5 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, you have no evidence to support your claims. States with strong teacher unions and higher teacher wages, i.e. California, Illinois, and New York, have lower student performance and lower graduation rates. Vouchers have proven to work in lots of communities.

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

First off - see post above. Vouchers in and of themselves have never been proven to create better outcomes for students. There are some charters that do well, many that do worse, and in aggregate they tend to do about the same to slightly worse. Parents pick schools for social reasons instead of academics, and the system opens itself up to a lot of fraud.

Secondly - see post above. I said places and not states. The phrasing was deliberate. Finland is heavily unionized and offers better relative pay. The kids also have far better outcomes and are considered the best educated in the world. If unions and highly paid teachers were bad things, Finland would be in pretty bad shape.

California, Illinois and New York have high costs of living, in some cases spotty school funding, and students with drastically different socioeconomic status and expected outcomes. You conveniently don't mention Massachusetts or Vermont, and they've got strong teacher's unions, too. You don't mention states where unions are banned, like South Carolina and Texas. How do they score? Heck, strong unions AND vouchers exist simultaneously in many states. Which one do you credit or blame?

The biggest, biggest predictor of success in schools is the background of the child. Poor kids do poorly. Rich kids do well. Ain't no teacher's union or charter school that will make a poor kid rich. If you want to really fix the schools, you're concentrating on the wrong thing. That said, if you want to waste money on things that don't have any proven benefit in spite of 40 some odd years of history in this country, keep pushing those vouchers.

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

Oh, but that money doesn't count, silly.

tomatogrower 5 years, 3 months ago

The real solution would be to take the politicians out of the mix. Make them go find solutions to bad parents. Make the parents send kids to school who are ready to learn and have been taught to behave, then quit putting hoops that educators have to jump through before they can even teach. Let them teach!

JackMcKee 5 years, 3 months ago

Kansas is losing key positions in DC because this Tea Party b.s. is so out of favor, even amongst Republicans. Nobody is going to follow your lead, Sam. He's going to lead Kansas down a dark road and off the cliff all by itself.

63BC 5 years, 3 months ago

Just in, the Governors of Louisiana and Nebraska each unveiled this week their plans for abolishing state income taxes, stating it was necessary to compete.

Markets are remarkable things.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

An alternate explanation-- math-challenged idiots love company.

Shelley Bock 5 years, 3 months ago

So when all of these states eliminate income tax, what is the incentive for business to move to Kansas rather than others? The education system, the state of the highways, great tourism, nice ocean front property, great skiing? Maybe Disneyland Kansas or "6 or so flags over Kansas"?

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

It's all the new pig farms after ag gets deregulated. People love to move their factories next to pig farms.

Shelley Bock 5 years, 3 months ago

Hey, cheap bacon. Isn't Kansas the home of that porker of the month, Rep. Jenkins? Would she feel at home?

rtwngr 5 years, 3 months ago

@JackMcKee - May I suggest that you might find Illinois more to your liking.

Water 5 years, 3 months ago

Now we have even more incentive to pay off the mortgage a little faster. Glad there are fewer panhandlers on Mass street. Now there's more room for my daughter to sell matches. WHAT!! Are you still here little girl!! Git out there and don't come back 'til they're all sold!

tomatogrower 5 years, 3 months ago

Now we will have some more foreclosures or run down houses. Some people who are just making their mortgage payments, but count on the tax refunds for repairs and maybe even paying their property taxes and insurance won't have as much of a refund now. But then a slum lord can come in and buy their place and rent it back to them for too much money, and never paint or repair anything. Brownback, friend to the "entrepreneur".

verity 5 years, 3 months ago

Brownback got elected (in my opinion) because of name recognition and the fact that Holland and the Democratic Party didn't run any sort of campaign. We need to change that. I strongly suspect that a very high percentage of people voted for Brownback because of name recognition and the R beside his name. I doubt that many actually followed what he did as a U.S. Senator.

However, I did follow his career and, while I thought he would be very bad for Kansas, I really had no idea just what level he is not only willing, but enthusiastic to stoop to.

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

Electing someone else wouldn't do as much good unless the crazies in the house and senate were also removed. It would have been better a year ago when there were still moderates. That said, I think anyone running on an education platform might have a chance of success here, provided that the pro voucher money doesn't flood in to drown out their message.

Because that's the particular bathtub where they want to drown this issue. Underfund the schools and give the kids coupons to attend crappy for-profit charters.

verity 5 years, 3 months ago

I worked very hard on a campaign for someone running against a hardcore Brownback/Koch Mini-Me. We lost---didn't get much help from the State Democratic Party, in fact, I would say their instructions on how to run a campaign were flawed. We are already starting on the 2014 campaign and will run it our way this time and not expect much from the state party.

I also changed party affiliation so I could vote for one of the Republican "moderates" in the primary. She won---the only one, I believe.

No, running on education didn't do it. We will have to go over the opponents record and run against that, pointing out how he voted against the interests of his constituents in any and all areas, not just education. And we will have to put in a lot of time and energy. It will only be one representative, but that is all we can do. The rest of you will have to fight in your districts.

By 2014, people hopefully will be starting to face the reality of what their vote, or lack of it, has brought to pass.

rtwngr 5 years, 3 months ago

Why should Brownback pay attention to the courts or landmark decisions. Obama doesn't.

Shelley Bock 5 years, 3 months ago

Please educate all of us on which "...courts or landmark decisions." that Obama doesn't pay attention. Seriously, which ones?

NewYorkLilly 5 years, 3 months ago

Yes the people of Kanas elected him so now live with him . We are moving back to greener pastures and brighter prospects . The majority of this state is rural and sadly uneducated and its about to become even worse I fear.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 5 years, 3 months ago

Remember The "Districts" In "Hunger Games"? What "District" will Kansas Be?

Thomas Bryce Jr. 5 years, 3 months ago

Cool! Thanks for the info. Should have known that. Wonder when "The Drawings" will start?

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 3 months ago

Sadly uneducated?... These people get out of bed every day and go to work. They too, wonder how anyone could live with themselves when there very exhistence has everything to be with being a moocher!

voevoda 5 years, 3 months ago

Sadly uneducated, indeed: "anyone could live with themselves": "anyone" is singular; "themselves" is plural. "there very exhistence": "there" means a place; for the possessive form of "they," the proper spelling is "their." "existence" is spelled without an "h"; it is a noun derived from the verb "to exist," also without an "h."

Shelley Bock 5 years, 3 months ago

Confucius* said that any electronic newspaper comment attacking one’s education should be grammatically correct.

(*I believe that was Fred Confucius who lives in a Silicon Valley commune.)

John Hamm 5 years, 3 months ago

Enjoy your trip. I hear New York is great now.

63BC 5 years, 3 months ago

A two-year budget with line-item specifics down to the penny that leaves $450 million cash in the bank every year.

Who complains?

The people who elected a President borrowing $3 billion a day!

Armstrong 5 years, 3 months ago

Libs are complaining because of the tax deductions being eliminated.

Libs are complaining because not enough taxes going to ...cause.

I believe there is more clear thought put into a Chineese fire drill

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

I'd be ok with a small business exemption that really was small. Cap it so only truly small business got to see the full deduction. Then work with the health exchanges and expand medicare to make it possible for those small businesses and struggling entrepreneurs to take real risks without throwing away their health or that of their employees. Invest in our roads and bridges and expanded train service, so businesses could move goods and services to other states. Make special grants to encourage tech initiatives. There are so many ways we could be helping small business owners and encouraging an environment of entrepreneurial growth. But we're not doing any of those things. We're handing middle and lower class income to the rich in the form of tax cuts and chipping away at any services that may have helped those individuals with upward mobility. All in the mistaken belief that if we build this cargo cult of tax cuts the jobs will magically come. They won't.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 5 years, 3 months ago

One thing to remember about Brownback"s Policies, He can't punish any other group with out punishing His OWN Followers(Constituents). We will see how happy they are when Reality sets in. We will see how proud they are that They voted Brownback and Co. into office.

Larry Sturm 5 years, 3 months ago

I think the Brownback adminstration should be investigated for corruption.

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

Why would he want a cup after you've already started drinking out of it?

Enlightenment 5 years, 3 months ago

Such a sad existing in this state when the governor is feeding the rich and starving the middle and low income people. The Right just keep reducing or eliminating public services and tax everyone except the wealthy. Even sadder because the Republican voting folks are so ignorant and keep electing this type of arrogance.

headdoctor 5 years, 3 months ago

Brownback's plan is to grow the economy. His plans to push the middle class and lower income people over the edge who are already running close to the wire should really boost the economy. I guess I never realized that raising the number of bankruptcy filings was a positive sign to the economy. Just another attempt to make Kansas a clone of Florida.

All he and his buddies are accomplishing is teaching and or forcing good people to become crooks. I am now wondering when our great Governor is going to announce our very own Hunger Games for Kansas. After all, he needs to keep all the sectors inline so the upper class can have their wonderful existence.

headdoctor 5 years, 3 months ago

Sorry folks about the post. I just noticed tomatogrower and doubtingthomas sort of beat me to it.

webmocker 5 years, 3 months ago

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

Lenette Hamm 5 years, 3 months ago

Don't allow funding increases for education. We need more poorly educated people out there who won't be able to afford to buy a house, thus the mortgage interest deduction becomes unnecessary. WTH is this man thinking??? Oh, wait - he isn't. Might as well shoot me and bury me out back now........

Lisa Medsker 5 years, 3 months ago

While I agree with the ideals of your post, I'm very well-educated, and can't afford to buy a house.

Randall Uhrich 5 years, 3 months ago

Brownback wants to make Kansas just like Texas. Keep cutting education funding, dumbing down the electorate, and keep electing Republicans. It's no coincidence that the only Democratic county in Kansas, Douglas, is also the home of the only decent university in the state.

John Hamm 5 years, 3 months ago

Might want to read this before bragging KU up too much. Just to save you some trouble, "KU ranked 106th among national universities, which is down from 101st last year, and 51st among public universities, down from 46th, according to the “Best Colleges 2013” list."

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

How did the other universities in the state rank?

rtwngr 5 years, 3 months ago

@rduhrich - Your convoluted argument is finally invalidated by its anecdotal, obtuse conclusion.

WilburM 5 years, 3 months ago

As I understand it, BB does not lower income taxes over the next two years. He just announces that he wants to -- to get on his so-called "glide path" to no income tax. This tactic is not only intellectually dishonest, but it also demonstrates that he can balance the budget without the income tax. Altogether, one more bad joke. On us.

Norm Jennings 5 years, 3 months ago

All can argue until the proverbial cows come home about progressive/ regressive, conservative/ liberal, democrat/ republican, bigger/ smaller government yada, yada, yada...

if you, or a member of your family, are a part of the staggering housing industry just trying to stay off of your knees, this proposed decrease in mortgage tax deductions should be just the kick in the crotch to put you back on the ground

Thanks Sam! What goes around comes around, and don't worry your Koch-boy buddies are just the types to deliver with gusto when they've decided your usefulness has been exhausted.

rtwngr 5 years, 3 months ago

Your argument depends upon the conclusion that the only reason a person would purchase a home is for the mortgage interest deduction. That doesn't make sense.

jafs 5 years, 3 months ago

Certainly not the only reason, or even the most important. But it might be a factor for some people in deciding whether or not to buy, or what kind of house to buy.

btsflk 5 years, 3 months ago

The gov is a cruel and evil man. He is causing more pain and difficulty for those who are already hurting.

He will reap what he sows.

Karma is a bitch.

Dave Trabert 5 years, 3 months ago

Governor Brownback’s efforts to eliminate income taxes in Kansas are laudable, but increasing sales taxes in July and eliminating the mortgage deduction are not the ways to do it. Completely eliminating the income tax may require a sales tax increase, but the rate cannot be determined until government stops giving away taxpayer money in the name of economic development and gets spending under control.

We can’t know how much government needs to spend until we look for ways to be more efficient. Spending less is not about cutting service, it’s about providing the same or better service at a better price. The Governor’s budget does so in some places but it should go much further. 31 states are estimated to have spent less per-resident than Kansas in 2012 so we can certainly find ways to be more efficient – especially given that general fund spending has increased 32% since 2005.

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

This message bought and paid for by the Kochs, proud to no longer pay state income taxes since 2013.

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

With an assist from ALEC, which Dave Trabert is a member. Great advice.

"Each year, ALEC ranks the states on how tightly they adhere to the group’s policy recommendations — from personal and corporate tax rates, to public sector employment levels, to right-to-work laws — as a predictor of their economic growth. The study released Wednesday, by the Iowa Policy Project and Good Jobs First, two policy groups that promote economic growth at the state level, introduces those rankings to reality. It concludes: “A hard look at the actual data finds that the ALEC…recommendations not only fail to predict positive results for state economies — the policies they endorse actually forecast worse state outcomes for job creation and paychecks.” (Though the report is careful to maintain that though ALEC policies are correlated with less prosperous state economies, that doesn’t necessarily mean the policies caused economic decline.)"

verity 5 years, 3 months ago

"31 states are estimated to have spent less per-resident than Kansas in 2012 so we can certainly find ways to be more efficient . . ."

A person of your standing should know not to start a sentence with 31---it should be written out. I usually don't correct people's grammar and spelling, but that mistake is particularly egregious to me. While I'm at it, "per-resident" shouldn't be hyphenated.

What does spending per resident have to do with the efficiency of state government?

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

It's a lower number, so it must be better. Even if they do a worse job in educating their citizens or have more people living in poverty or dying of preventable diseases, they spend less money, and that's all that matters. Efficiency!

Even Jesus said as much, "What yea do unto the richest job providers, yea do unto Me" Or maybe it was something else. I'm sure it involved less state spending somehow.

Richard Payton 5 years, 3 months ago

This article mentions the base rate per student is currently at $3,838.00 dollars. Factor in federal dollars and 710 talk radio said this morning Kansas City, KS averages around $15,000 per student. Could this be true?

Dave Trabert 5 years, 3 months ago

If the court ruling was in effect today, total taxpayer support would increase from $12,738 per pupil to $14,045.

chicago95 5 years, 3 months ago

Eliminating the mortgage interest deduction sounds vaguely reminiscent of the (unacknowleged details of the) Romney/Ryan tax simplification strategy. (Perhaps they both originate from the same source.) Can there be any doubt that Brownback's Kansas proposal is a dry run for national legislative action? Our response may have natiional impact.

chicago95 5 years, 3 months ago

Eliminating the mortgage interest deduction sounds vaguely reminiscent of the (unacknowleged details of the) Romney/Ryan tax simplification strategy. (Perhaps they both originate from the same source.) Can there be any doubt that Brownback's Kansas proposal is a dry run for national legislative action? Our response may have national impact.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 3 months ago

Brownback is obviously at best unethical and at worst criminal. Regular citizens do not get to ignore court orders, they are jailed and charged and convicted of a crime.

So why does this public official still occupy the office in Topeka?

This is what we get whtn the clueless, ignorant, and spineless voters elect these bought and paid for politicans like Brownback, Kobach, Roberts, Moron, Wagel and the rest of the facist regime.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

If keeping teachers paid at at sustainable level and above is not a concern ...... that is a concern.

Who on this board slamming the teaching profession wants to work for less money?

Are those slamming the teaching profession voluntarily taking a cut in pay for their efforts?

At best Sam Brownback should be charged with fraud for not revealing his plans during his campaign. For what is going on has been orchestrated backed by long term pre-meditation.

Reckless supply economics is not new and has many years of failing.

So where is the contempt of court charge and a warrant for the arrest of one Governor Sam Brownback? He is as much a criminal as anyone else cited for contempt of court. This breed of republicans believe laws do not apply to them.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

"If the court ruling was in effect today, total taxpayer support would increase from $12,738 per pupil to $14,045."

That is a much more fiscal responsible investment than Sam Brownback. Bring it on!

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

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: ===================

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

His income tax cut/tax cuts = a state wide tax increase = local taxes need to increase in order to make up the loss.

Hundreds of state legislators from all 50 states have gathered in New Orleans for the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, known as ALEC.

Critics say the Washington-based organization plays a key role in helping corporations secretly draft model pro-business legislation that has been used by state lawmakers across the country.

Unlike many other organizations, ALEC’s membership includes both state lawmakers and corporate executives who gather behind closed doors to discuss and vote on model legislation.

In recent months, ALEC has come under increasing scrutiny for its role in drafting bills to: attack workers’ rights roll back environmental regulations privatize education funded with our tax dollars deregulate major industries * passing voter ID laws.

Nonetheless, this year’s annual ALEC meeting boasts the largest attendance in five years, with nearly 2,000 guests in attendance. Center for Media and Democracy organization released 800 model bills approved by companies and lawmakers at recent ALEC meetings.

BlueWaffle 5 years, 3 months ago

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

Commenting has been disabled for this item.