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SRS move just shifts more costs onto locals

Meeting with The Eagle editorial board Tuesday, Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services Secretary Rob Siedlecki had praise for the way the city of Lawrence and Douglas County each stepped up with $112,500 a year through 2013 to prevent the closure of the Lawrence SRS office. He said that Wellington officials are considering a similar intervention to save their local SRS office. Not everybody is thrilled about this new cost-sharing partnership, though. The Lawrence Journal-World editorialized: "Blackmail may be too strong a word, but by threatening to close the local SRS office, state officials put local governments in a near-impossible situation. Using local tax dollars to take over a state responsibility sets a terrible precedent.” The Kansas City Star editorialized: "If Gov. Sam Brownback's plan was to reduce taxpayer spending, this doesn't do it. All it does is move the tax burden from statewide to local, which is little more than a shell game. Local taxpayers are picking up what has always been — and should still be — a state tab."