Higher ed – Gov. Sam Brownback toured many of the state’s colleges and universities recently, telling supporters that holding higher education funding steady is essential to Kansas’ economy. Colleges are full of smart people, however, and the mixed message of Brownback’s tour escaped no one. Had the governor not signed reckless income-tax cuts into law, higher education might well be looking at increased funding this year. And even as he calls upon the Legislature to hold the budgets steady, Brownback has made it known he wants to cut income taxes further.
The sheer volume of legislation passed and signed by the governor this session paints an image of a state that has pulled out all the stops to expand the scope and role of government into the everyday lives of Kansans. Some of the legislation, however, is so questionable and unnecessary that the Attorney General’s Office is requesting a $1.2 million increase to its two-year budget because of the anticipated need to defend legislation in court. Those laws were drafted, passed and signed as a way to give life to the radical ideology of a group of politicians who view Kansas as fertile ground for a grand experiment, with the state’s taxpayers as the financiers.