Good News in Kansas City Star

Dave TrabertEducation, Tax & Spending

Yes, you read that headline correctly.  The Kansas City Star published an editorial last week calling for the ‘pause’ button to be pressed on the battle over school funding.  They said, “…it may be time for the state and the judges to pause for a year or two to see if the $488 million infusion, coupled with a new formula … Read More

Kansas Legislature Lifetime Freedom Index Released

Dave TrabertResearch, Tax & Spending

Kansas Policy Institute’s 2017 Lifetime Freedom Index released last week again reinforces legislators’ support for economic freedom and student-focused education are not determined by party affiliation, with significant disparity between high and low scores among Republicans in the House and Senate.  With 50 percent considered ‘neutral’ (i.e., just as likely to vote in favor as to oppose), the Senate range … Read More

Legislature moves away from freedom in 2017 session

James FrankoResearch, Tax & Spending

The 2017 legislative session was noteworthy both for its length and for the relative opposition to economic and educational freedom in the 2017 session, according to KPI’s annual Kansas Freedom Index. Taken as a whole, the legislature moved away from freedom and the principles of liberty in the just-completed session when compared to returns since 2012, when KPI first published … Read More

Legislators Don’t Like Being Called Out for State Spending Hike

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Governor Brownback’s statement on state spending at the close of the 2017 legislative session has leadership in both chambers up in arms.  ““This legislative session made history, but for all the wrong reasons. Passing the largest tax hike in state history, this legislature passed the biggest budget in state history—and they’ve already spent every dime.  The legislature—despite borrowing and delaying … Read More

Kansas Legislature Broke a Lot of Promises

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Last September I made a very safe prediction for the 2017 session of the Kansas Legislature – “Regardless of who is elected to the 2017 Legislature, January will bring turmoil and major disappointment for many Kansans.”  Like I said, a pretty safe bet…but the rationale ruffled a few feathers.  “Many candidates and special interests say Kansas needs to spend a … Read More

$1.6 Billion Pension Payouts; Over 2,000 KPERS ‘Millionaires’

Dave TrabertEducation, Tax & Spending

An Open Records request fulfilled by the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) shows record-setting payouts in 2016 of $1.6 billion.   The number of KPERS ‘millionaires’ also set a new record, with 2,007 government retirees expected to receive more than $1 million in pension benefits over their first 20 years of retirement.  Pensions are paid over the lifespan of each … Read More

Media, Left Attempt to Re-write History of Kansas Tax Reform

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Now that legislators and media have imposed the largest tax increase in Kansas history and put citizens in worse shape than prior to 2012, the effort is shifting to rewrite the history of Kansas tax reform.  The first salvo was released by Kansas City Star columnist Steve Kraske, who writes that then-Senator Steve Morris says Governor Brownback lied to him … Read More

Legislature Disregards Citizens with $3 Billion Kansas Income Tax Hike

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

So far, the most pro-government/anti-freedom Legislature in recent history hasn’t been successful in efforts to eliminate right-to-work, strip citizens of their right to vote on property tax increases, reinstate prevailing wage or allow local government to set minimum fringe benefit standards for private employers, but this week they stuck citizens with an unnecessary $3 billion Kansas income tax increase over … Read More

$11 Billion School Debt Exceeds State Debt

Dave TrabertEducation, Tax & Spending

Given media and legislative hyperventilation over state debt levels, one would never know that Kansas’ 286 school districts are deeper in hock than the State of Kansas and its component units (universities, turnpike authority, etc.).  School districts set a new record last year of $5.56 billion in bonded indebtedness and they also have $5.4 billion in unfunded pension liability, putting … Read More

Dedicating Income Tax to Schools is Just Pandering; There’s Also a Downside

Dave TrabertEducation, Tax & Spending

Dedicating income tax collections to school funding is the latest “Here, hold my beer” notion to come out of the Kansas Legislature this session, proving once again Thomas Sowell’s take on politics.  He said, “No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems.  They are trying to solve their own problems … Read More