In a news conference tonight at the Kansas State Capitol, Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley (Topeka) and House Democratic Leader Tom Burroughs (Kansas City), invited Kansas parents and teachers to join them in offering the official rebuttal to Gov. Sam Brownback’s 2015 State of the State Address.
“It is time for Gov. Brownback to stop blaming others and admit his economic experiment is a failure,” said Hensley. “He needs to end his experiment and fix the budget crisis he created. At the same time he needs to recognize what’s happened to Kansans on his watch.”
Mary Lucas (Winfield), was scheduled to join the event to describe the impact that the Brownback tax experiment has had on her family. Lucas is a single mother and fall into the lowest income tax bracket. As a result of Brownback’s changes to the state tax code, she lost the Kansas food sales tax rebate, the homestead property tax refund for renters, and the dependent child care credit.
“The Brownback experiment enabled my friends with significant six figure incomes to have their Kansas income tax liability reduced to zero,” Lucas said. “They no longer pay Kansas income tax, while I have seen my Kansas tax income liability increase 50 percent under the Brownback administration. This failed experiment is bankrupting our state and families like mine. We simply cannot continue down this path if we really want the ‘sun to shine in Kansas’ for future generations.”
Over 100 Kansas public schoolteachers also attended, including 2014 Kansas Teacher of the Year, Barbara Casey, a fifth-grade teacher in the Kansas City, Kan. area.
“Kansas public schoolteachers believe every student deserves a caring, committed teacher, tolls to learn, and time to learn,” Casey said. ”That’s why we’re here tonight.”
Lucas and Baxter are just two examples of Kansans who are being devastated by the Brownback experiment. Democrats called on the Governor to offer real solutions to the problems he created.
“We want to be a part of the solution, but only if the Governor offers real solutions,” said Burroughs. “That means we must honor our moral obligation – and court order- to restore funding to our schools. It means we must protect the investments we know strengthen our economy. And it means we must re-establish a responsible, competitive tax code where everyone pays their fair share.”
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