Poverty – A recent study of childhood poverty in Kansas has revealed that nearly a quarter of the state’s children lived in poverty in 2012. In the simplest terms, it means that nearly 1 in 4 children lives in a home that struggles to make ends meet, struggles to buy enough food or medicine, and most likely relies on public assistance to fill the gaps. And while Kansas’ ruling class has redoubled its efforts to create policies that would force the state’s poor to work and free them from the bondage of a safety net, this quarter of the state’s children languish as they move toward adulthood.
In his “Road Map for Kansas,” Gov. Sam Brownback vowed to reduce poverty. But our ultraconservative Republican governor and his camp have instead pursued such hurtful strategies as cutting people off the welfare rolls, erasing child tax credits and a sales-tax rebate on food that helped the working poor, and rejecting Medicaid expansion that would provide care for more than 150,000 poor Kansans at little cost to the state while also injecting hundreds of millions of dollars into the state’s economy. The plan to push Kansas toward zero state income tax only shows ultraconservative Republicans are content to pay for a corporate-friendly benefit and significant loss of state income by pursuing deep cuts to vital state-funded services and programs, including assistance for the poor.