Meadowlark: Gov. Sebelius to Balance 2010 Kansas Budget using Federal Debt and Federal Taxes

Kansas Meadowlark:

Why doesn’t Gov. Sebelius tell the whole truth about the “resources available in the Federal Recovery Act”?  Why doesn’t Gov. Sebelius tell the citizens of the state of Kansas the “Stimulus” funds from the Federal Recovery Act will be paid for by higher federal taxes and debt?  State taxes are not going up with her plan, but where does Gov. Sebelius explain that higher federal taxes may result?

Why does Gov. Sebelius care so much for children and education, but is burdening future generations with unimaginable debt?  Why are we stealing from our children and grandchildren because of our irresponsible spending now?

For immediate release Beth Martino, Press Secretary

February 27, 2009 785.368.8500

Governor puts forward plan to balance 2010 budget

Schools to maintain funding levels, more children to get health care

Governor Kathleen Sebelius has delivered to the legislature amendments to her 2010 budget recommendations that take into account resources available in the Federal Recovery Act. With these amendments, the 2010 budget is balanced, ends with money in the bank and does not raise taxes.

“A budget is based on future projections of available funds and anticipated needs. In the weeks since I first made my recommendations for the 2010 budget, we have seen passage of the Federal Recovery Act which changes our projections of available funds, but does not change the need to protect our investments in schools and protect our most vulnerable citizens,” Sebelius said.

“My recommendations for the FY 2010 budget already include over $600 million in additional cuts – eliminating programs, closing facilities, freezing new hires, and reducing spending – and I urge the Legislature to adopt these recommendations. These efforts, combined with the state stabilization funds included in the Federal Recovery Act, allow us to pass my FY 2010 budget recommendations without making deeper cuts to those programs which ensure the long term health of our great state.

“These stabilization funds also provide us the resources to follow through on our shared commitment, made last session, to open the doors of affordable health care to 8,000 more Kansas children and provided needed assistance to thousands of unemployed Kansans struggling in these difficult economic times.

“Therefore, I am amending my FY 2010 budget recommendations to prevent harm to our schools, avoid job losses and protect vulnerable Kansans. Budget cuts deeper than what I have already recommended are not necessary, and would in fact do great harm to our state’s economy and employment levels.”

In order to draw down these recovery funds and stabilize our State General Fund, the Kansas Legislature must meet the minimum federal requirements, including:

· Maintain funding for K-12 schools at FY2009 levels and restore higher education funding to FY2008 levels; this will allow us to access $367 million in recovery funds to stabilize these areas.

· Prevent cuts to special education; this will allow us to access $107 million in recovery funds to stabilize this program.

· Maintain current Medicaid eligibility standards; this will allow us to access $430 million in recovery funds to stabilize this program.

· Prevent cuts to public safety or other government services; this will allow us to access $81 million in recovery funds to stabilize these services.

These steps represent the minimum action the legislature must take to access these dollars. Anything short of this action, will bar Kansas from receiving the nearly $985 million in recovery funds needed to stabilize the State General Fund.

In addition, the governor recommends a statutory change required to bring $68 million into the state’s unemployment trust fund. Secretary of Labor Jim Garner will work with legislative leadership to make this change.

To review the governor’s memorandum to legislative leadership on the 2010 budge amendment, please visit http://budget.ks.gov/publications/FY2010/GBA1_Memo–2-27-2009.pdf.

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