TOPEKA — Groups representing schools, state workers, the disabled and the elderly told a panel of House lawmakers they support Democratic Gov. Mark Parkinson's plan to boost the state sales tax by 1 percent.
Advocates told the House tax committee that new budget cuts would cripple public education, social services for the elderly and disabled, mental health programs and transportation infrastructure.
"We urge you, please, no more waiting lists for vulnerable Kansans," said Tom Laing, director of InterHab, a statewide coalition of groups serving the developmentally disabled. "No more community workers in poverty. No more closed schools and crowded classrooms, and no more abandoned senior citizens."
Even some private individuals showed up to encourage lawmakers to look at raising taxes to stop more budget reductions.
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"If raising the sales tax is what we have to do ... then please do it," said Megan Greene, a Lawrence woman concerned about cuts to her daughter's public school. "In other words, I'm asking you to raise my taxes."