We need to eliminate this regressive and burdensome tax.
What began as a $900 million surplus in July of last year evaporated to zero by end of June 2020....
This political impasse is also hurting the economic health of state
We must keep the highway plan on track
Public education is in crisis mode because of COVID.
Key Points of Our Programm
Medicaid Expansion, a bipartisan priority for the legislature and for Governor Kelly, looked like it was finally going to pass this session. It’s been years coming. Expansion bills passed the House three times and enjoy majority support in both the House and the Senate. Expanding Medicaid would aid more than 150,000 Kansans who currently do not have health insurance or access to affordable medical care.
Medicaid expansion also would have provided hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity vital to rebuilding our economy. However,
a handful of Republican legislative leaders stopped passage again this year.
What began as a $900 million surplus in July of last year evaporated to zero by end of June 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic altered the state’s financial stability, just as it has for thousands of small businesses and individuals in Kansas.
Overall, we’ll see a $1.3 billion drop in our revenues that were committed for education, health care, tax reduction, road improvements and KPERS. It is estimated it will take Kansas five to seven years to fully recover — and in some areas we may never recover.
The federal government has $1.2 billion committed to emergency services for health care and aid to local governments. That money will not address the shortfall that’s projected in our state revenues.
Congress is still considering providing additional money to states to offset such budget shortfalls. However, because this is politically charged, I’m doubtful we’ll see any money come to Kansas to replace our lost revenues.
Sales taxes on groceries have an especially harmful impact on income and racial inequities since low-income families tend to spend a larger share of their income on groceries. The lowest-income fifth of families spend almost twice the share of their annual income on food at home that the highest-income fifth do. For the lowest-income families, food at home is the third-highest expenditure category as a share of income, after housing and transportation.
Thirty-two states plus the District of Columbia exempt most food purchased for consumption at home from the state sales tax. Kansas is not one of them.
We must put an end to this burdensome tax.
Plans are underway to open schools after Labor Day with contingency plans if the COVID-19 pandemic ramps up again. The legislature successfully funded the agreed-to settlement that gives more money to Wichita schools, lowers class sizes, and gives pay increases to teachers.
This plan is scheduled to be fully implemented over the next three years. The big question mark now — how much of an impact will COVID-19 have on school budgets.