Democratic caucus unveils proposal to cut legislative spending by nearly 10 percent
Kansas has endured five rounds of budget cuts in the last year, with another shortfall expected in the next fiscal year. As a result, every state agency has been significantly scaled back- except the Kansas Legislature. While House Republican leaders scheduled another day off, House Democrats announced a proposal to rein in spending within the legislative branch.
“It’s time for the Legislature to make the same sacrifices that the rest of state government and Kansas families have been making since this recession began,” said House Democratic Leader Paul Davis, Lawrence. “Everyone else has been spending less and doing without. Now it’s our turn.”
While agencies have suffered deep cuts affecting the delivery of essential government services, the Legislature has allowed its budget to grow by 29 percent in the last five fiscal years, for a total spending increase of $3.6 million. House Democrats call upon Republican legislative leadership to endorse the following cuts in the Legislature’s own budget:
- A five percent cut in legislators’ session pay (Saving approximately $66,000)
- A two-year moratorium on legislative pay increases (Preventing increased spending)
- The adoption of a nonpartisan redistricting commission (Saving approximately $600,000)
- A five percent cut to Legislative Division of Post Audit (Saving approximately $128,000)
- A two-year moratorium on any further spending for the legislative computerization process (Saving approximately $450,000)
- A 50 percent cut in legislators’ franking privileges (Saving approximately $128,000)
If passed, this proposal will save Kansas approximately $1.37 million and reduce legislative spending by approximately nine percent.
“We aren’t going to fill the entire budget gap with this proposal alone, but this is about leading by example” said Davis. “Every penny we cut from our own budget is a penny we don’t have to cut from public schools and vulnerable seniors. These are reasonable, cost-saving measures that will enable the Legislature to be part of the solution to this crisis.”
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