Working poor – The 2013 legislative session was a disaster for the working poor. Kansas workers who earn less than $23,500 for a family of four will not have access to expanded Medicaid health insurance. They will have to go to a federal online exchange to get insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Over the next five years, they will share in a $1.2 billion sales-tax increase, which hits them harder than anyone. Along with the middle class, they will lose $975 million in income-tax deductions over that same period. All this is a result of Gov. Sam Brownback’s quixotic idea that reducing individual income taxes on business owners will boom the economy.
The Legislature made cuts to our state universities and left college administrators scrambling to make up for it by asking the Kansas Board of Regents to let them raise student tuition. In other words, the Legislature yet again raised the price of a college education. This will continue to discourage middle- and low-income Kansas students from pursuing higher education or leave them strapped with debt for decades. Gov. Sam Brownback and his sidekicks, conservative Republican legislators, are succeeding in dismantling Kansas with each slash to education they make.