Governor Brownback Delivers State Of The State Address


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During his State of the State address on Tuesday, Gov. Sam Brownback says he will propose “modest and targeted” tax increases to help address the state’s serious budget problems. Kansas faces projected budget shortfalls totaling $1.1 billion through June 2019.

Many believe, including some Republicans in the legislature, that the tax breaks passed in 2012 and 2013 by the legislature at the governors urging are to blame for the shortfalls. However, the Governor strongly defended the income tax breaks.

Brownback says he’ll propose some “one-time measures” to help balance the state’s current budget.

He was no more specific than that on Tuesday evening when speaking with reporters after his annual State of the State Address. He plans to release the details of his budget proposals today.

Brownback also told the joint session of the Kansas Legislature that he will outline “budget efficiencies” in the days to come.

He cautioned lawmakers against expanding the state’s Medicaid program in line with the 2010 federal health care overhaul. President-elect Donald Trump and congressional Republicans are planning to repeal and replace the health care law.

Brownback called on legislators to pass school choice measures and reiterated his support of merit pay for teachers. Merit pay is not a popular option among many superintendents across the state. Brownback called for creating more competition in education and for expanding a program in which poor students can receive scholarships to attend private schools.

Brownback also said the state should create a program for grading schools.

Mark Desetti, a lobbyist for the Kansas National Education Association teachers union, said Brownback is pushing ideas which have failed in other states. He said the governor is “behind the curve.”

The Kansas Senate’s top Democrat says Gov. Brownback remains “in denial” about the damage his fiscal policies have done to families and communities. Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka described Brownback’s economic policies Tuesday evening as “debilitating” in delivering the democrat response to Brownback’s address.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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