No Surprise: KTN Opposes Senate Plan

The Kansas Taxpayer Network has come out against legislative plans for increased spending. Here’s the text of a press release issued today:

State Senate Spending Spree Opposed

Kansas senate leadership has proposed a fiscally irresponsible spending spree that will raise property taxes across this state said Kansas Taxpayers Network’s Executive Director Karl Peterjohn, Thursday afternoon.

“The proponents claim it is a $660 million hike in state spending for the government school structure. However over three years the total is roughly $1 billion when the cumulative spending costs are included. This spending spree will mean that state spending for the public schools will be a fiscal tsunami that will destroy private jobs, businesses, and force this state into ruinous fiscal policies. This spending hike cannot be financed with only a tax hike or increased gambling but needs both.

When this proposed spending hike is added to the $300 million forced by the Sebelius Supreme Court’s school finance lawsuit in 2005 we are looking at a huge spending hike that will clobber the Kansas economy,” Peterjohn said.

“In 2005 the legislature surrendered their fiscal authority to the Sebelius court and record state spending hikes for public schools was approved. The state had its first $5 billion General Fund budget this year. The state’s All Fund’s budget topped $11 billion for the first time. Now a bipartisan group of spend and tax legislators are going to throw a huge amount of cash at the government schools without providing a way of funding this spending spree. State revenues will have to expand massively to fund this plan,” warned Peterjohn. The lifetime scores on KTN’s legislative vote rating for these free spending legislators in 2005 was Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, 35.4%; Tony Hensley, D-Topeka, 32.1%; Derek Schmidt, R-Independence, 44.2%; and John Vratil, R-Leawood, 13.9%.

Thursday afternoon a group of legislators headed by Senator Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, 97.4% said, “These proposals are not only fiscally irresponsible and unaffordable; they also silence the people of Kansas. We were not sent to Topeka to work for the Supreme Court of Kansas – we were sent to defend the taxpayers of Kansas.”

Huelskamp warned that even one of these spending proponents admitted that this plan would, “will stretch the state’s resources to the breaking point and beyond,” in the proponents news release. Huelskamp also warned, “In ignoring the real problem, Senate leadership has signaled their desire to bottle up any efforts to rein in the Courts of Kansas. A proposed Amendment to change how these Justices are selected has been sitting on the Senate Calendar for 12 months – and it has 27 Republican co-sponsors. The Amendment to prohibit court-demanded appropriations – unanimously approved multiple times by the Senate Republican Caucus just this summer – languishes in the Judiciary Committee.”

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