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Majority leader's response to governor's proposed tax increase

The following is a statement from Majority Leader and Appropriations Vice Chair Ray Merrick regarding the Governor's State of the State address:

"With the continuing fall of revenues, the Governor's proposed budget is unconstitutional. In a shameful change of course from when he took office last year*, the Governor has abdicated his duty to the taxpayers of Kansas by refusing to offer a balanced budget and demanding the largest tax increase in Kansas history. As a legislature we cannot in good conscience accept a budget which refuses to offer a solution to the struggling families and businesses of Kansas. Much to my disappointment this budget offers no long term solutions or incentive for job creation in Kansas. Meanwhile, the Governor has requested an INCREASE of 153 FTE positions. These regressive spend and then tax-to-fill-the-hole policies will only further strain our state's economy."

"Since this administration has run out of tricks and one-time fee sweeps, it has now resorted to simply refusing to balance the budget responsibly. We hope on further review there are positive recommendations upon which the legislature can move forward to streamline and reduce government spending and growth, but this unbalanced budget demands an answer from the Governor to the Kansas taxpayers. When we should be reducing the size of government, this is the largest budget in our history, with all funds of $14.5 billion."

*April, 28, 2009 Remarks by Gov. Parkinson when sworn in as Kansas Governor: "no Kansan will have a tax increase"