By Tim Carpenter
Topeka Capital Journal
House Minority Leader Tom Burroughs responded Tuesday to the State of the State message by declaring the five-year leadership experiment with Gov. Sam Brownback a “failure” epitomized by misguided tax policy damaging to economic growth, education and transportation infrastructure.
“A majority of Kansans believe, not that the state of our state is bright, but that the state of our state is bleak. They don’t believe our state is on the right track,” Burroughs said in the taped rebuttal to Brownback’s speech to the 2016 Legislature.
He said Kansans from across the political spectrum viewed work of the second-term GOP governor as “one of failure.”
“From jobs, to schools, to roads, to public safety,” Burroughs said, “Kansans are not satisfied with the path the governor and the Republican majority in the Legislature has forced the state down. Whether you’re sitting at your kitchen table, learning in the classroom, heading to work or shopping at a grocery store, you feel the impact of the Brownback experiment.”
Other Democrats in the audience said they were surprised Brownback didn’t raise specific recommendations for dealing with a state budget deficit of at least $175 million and as much as $195 million over the next 18 months. The governor didn’t mention results of a government efficiency study presented by consultants Tuesday to the Legislature.