Archive for Friday, June 28, 2013

Democrats criticize Brownback over public stance for higher education while approving cuts

June 28, 2013


— Democratic budget leaders today said that while Gov. Sam Brownback publicly stated support for higher education funding, he worked as the 2013 legislative session concluded to get enough Republican legislators to vote for the state budget, which cut higher education funding.

"After a 99-day legislative session, Governor Brownback made a clear choice about what he wanted to fight for in the final budget agreement. Despite his public promises, higher education was not one of those choices," State Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, and state Rep. Jerry Henry, D-Cummings, said in a statement.

Related document

Budget memo from Kelly, Henry ( .DOC )

Kelly and Henry are ranking minority leaders on their respective chambers' budget committees.

In response to Kelly and Henry, Sara Belfry, deputy director of communications for Brownback, said, “The budget that was passed at the end of session was not the budget the governor proposed and gave to the Legislature. Gov. Brownback will continue to work with the Legislature to address specific issues, including stable funding for higher education.”

Brownback, a Republican, signed into law the budget that will cut higher education by $44 million in state funding over two years.

During a legislative break in April and May, Brownback had toured the state urging against cuts to higher education.

Kelly and Henry said that had Brownback urged defeat or threatened to veto a budget with higher education cuts, "it is likely that the final budget would have spared higher education, or at least softened the blow."

The budget passed with the bare minimum of votes, supplied by only Republican legislators.

Since the end of the session earlier this month, Brownback has said he will try to get the Legislature next year to restore the higher education cuts.


consumer1 4 years, 11 months ago

Democrats will criticize Brownback for breathing.

Greg Cooper 4 years, 11 months ago

No, Democrats and some Republicans of the old school will criticize him for lying through his teeth. Espousing support for higher education while working tirelessly to achieve the opposite end is nothing but lying.

As for breathing, well..........

George_Braziller 4 years, 11 months ago

Brownback continually talks out of both sides of his mouth. Doesn't veto the budget with cuts to higher education while at the same time lamenting the cuts to higher education.

optimist 4 years, 11 months ago

I find it interesting that the premise that more money equals better education. In case none of us have been on college campuses in this state lately they are pretty nice institutions. Well funded really. Maybe if more of that money were spent educating rather than constructing elaborate buildings or increasing the univerty Presidents pay by $60k a year we wouldn't be having this discussion. If more money equals better education then why don't we apply the same philosophy to say road construction projects? Wouldn't more money mean better roads. Roads of gold maybe?

left_of_center 4 years, 11 months ago

I'm not sure about the other state schools, but the raise given to KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little is being funded entirely by KU Endowment, aka, not state money (

Greg Cooper 4 years, 11 months ago

You, as apparently do the majority of Kansas voters, confuse "statement' with "fact". Perhaps you can point to any "fact" in the post you so eloquently supported.

Greg Cooper 4 years, 11 months ago

Hate to do it, but I apologize deeply. I read another comment and responded to yours. Sorry, and please forgive me. I'd like to say it won't happen again, but, if so, I hope you'll be available too straighten me out. Thanks.

April Fleming 4 years, 11 months ago

Bernadette Gray-Little's raise came mostly from the KU endowment. Endowment funds are not state funds.

question4u 4 years, 11 months ago

"If more money equals better education then why don't we apply the same philosophy to say road construction projects?"

Sorry, this is not a philosophy. There is nothing even remotely rational about it. If anything – education, highways, or anything else – is funded at a level of maximum return, then by definition adding additional funding will not increase the return. By the same token, however, the level of return on anything that is NOT already funded at a level of maximum return CAN be raised by increasing funding.

This says nothing at all about whether education, highways, or anything else actually IS funded at the level of maximum return, below the level of maximum return, or above the level of maximum return. That judgment requires real data, not anecdotes or opinion based on nothing more than walking around a college campus.

If you want to apply the same practice to road construction projects, fine, but it doesn't make a very good case. The idea that anyone who has no knowledge of engineering can look at a highway bridge and say that it's safe and doesn't need to be replaced just because it looks "pretty nice" is ludicrous.

Even more ridiculous would be the idea that if private funds were used to raise the salary of the director of KDOT then cutting funds for road construction wouldn't hurt the quality of highways.

JuanValdez 4 years, 11 months ago

You touch upon another dirty little secret. In addition to defunding education the governor is dismantling KDOT.

The effect may not show immediately, but it will. It is like deciding that you are not going to paint your home's exterior and bragging about how well your house looks and how much money you are saving. Time will catch up with you.

Tracy Rogers 4 years, 11 months ago

Actions speak louder than words Sammy. Doesn't matter what you went all over the state saying you hoped would happen, when you signed the budget with the cuts to higher education, your true colors showed.

Shelley Bock 4 years, 11 months ago

Brownback could have shown his true support for Kansas education by vetoing the entire appropriation bill and called for a special session. It would have been just like his hero Governor Perry of Texas, especially now since there's a second "re-do" which starts in Austin on Monday.

Brownback's tour was a charade. Just like his efforts to bring jobs to Kansas. He's really choking off the money for government which consequently requires a much smaller government. Reducing taxes is only part of his plans. Reducing State government to the microscopic ideals of himself and Tea Party conservatives is the other part. Reduce size or farm it out for privatization.

Maracas 4 years, 11 months ago

It's not just Democrats that criticize Brownshirt. I've heard actual normal people criticize him, as well.

Pete Nachbar 4 years, 11 months ago

Since we are talking about Sam and breathing in the same sentence. The Gov is basically an OXYGEN THIEF.

riverdrifter 4 years, 11 months ago

Every time I see this pic of our respected guvner, it looks like somebody sliced off a very rare piece of cheese. Just sayin...

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