Budget cuts – Gov. Sam Brownback and his team are taking the first steps to prepare for financial Armageddon and a bleaker future for Kansas. At least they’re coming to grips with the reality that the income-tax cuts passed by the Legislature and signed into law earlier this year are going to create significant budget problems. Brownback’s budget team recently told state agencies to show how they could cut 10 percent out of their requests for funding in 2013. Budget Director Steve Anderson said Kansas needed to “require prioritization of programs, consolidation of resources and consideration of alternatives to current organizational structures, funding streams and outdated ways of doing business.” Let us translate: It’s time to slash and burn because Kansas soon could run out of money.
Kansas City Star
The governor’s administration is spinning the anticipated shortfall as being largely due to forces beyond its control – a stagnant national economy and the European financial crisis, as a recent Associated Press story reported. Certainly the national economy affects what happens in this state. But the tax cuts enacted last year were precipitous and flew in the face of sound, long-term governance.
Junction City Daily Union
Main Street – The decision by the Kansas Department of Commerce to end the state’s Main Street program hits particularly hard in Winfield. We have worked together to keep our downtown looking good so it can continue to be commercially viable and attractive to families, consumers and job-creating companies. A deep volunteer base from the community at large has backed Winfield Main Street. So it hurts to learn we will no longer have the guidance or support of the state program, which did not provide operating funds but had a revolving loan fund of which Winfield Main Street and Winfield downtown core businesses took advantage. Just how the Brownback administration justifies ending the state Main Street program at this time is beyond our ken.
Winfield Daily Courier
Kansas Main Street volunteers statewide were in disbelief as Gov. Sam Brownback and Commerce Secretary Pat George abruptly cut the downtown development program. Business-minded legislators should reverse the action next session. In the meantime, Marysville Main Street and other local affiliates will remain active and seek to keep Kansas involved in a program reaping big benefits for small businesses and rural downtowns.
Wind incentives – It’s hard to see why elected officials from Kansas wouldn’t support incentives to promote wind power. Kansas is ranked among the top states in the nation in terms of wind-power potential. The wind industry is a growing enterprise in Kansas both for the power it supplies and the jobs it provides.
Prayer team – One would think that the Christian God would be nonpartisan, but Gov. Sam Brownback’s staff has asked that a team pray for journalists who cover the Republican governor. “(The governor’s) working hard to turn this economy around. If he gets bad press, it just takes longer,” said Chaplain Dave DePue of Capitol Connection, a national organization working in 19 statehouses to “draw lawmakers into the arms of Christ.” It’s the responsibility of journalists to report on what the governor is doing and to report on the concerns and criticisms of the governor’s plans and policies.