I have followed Senator Jeff King’s political updates in the Chanute Tribune. Sen. King is talented and has won or been appointed to numerous committees in the Legislature in addition to serving as Vice President of the Senate.  His resume is impressive and he wields considerable influence as one of the leaders of the Legislature. His columns display a unique ability to pen soothing and reassuring words about the continuing financial crisis in Kansas.

Such reassurance is without value unless the root cause of the state’s crisis is addressed and corrected. In his most recent column he acknowledged this fundamental fact saying,“These revenue challenges are why I have supported repealing the LLC tax exemptions that unfairly exempt certain Kansans from income tax and not others while costing Kansas almost 300 million in annual revenue.” Sen. King continues saying, “While prospects remain slim to repeal the LLC exemption this year (given the Governor’s promised veto of such a measure), I hope the Kansas Legislature will make a new push to address this exemption going forward.” In other words, he is saying that he knows what the problem is, but he hopes somebody will do something about it sometime in the future.

Sen. King, just who in the Legislature are you expecting to do the “heavy lifting” to solve the problem? As a leader of the Legislature, YOU need to step up! YOU were deeply involved in both the passage and implementation of the tax cuts! It is past time to correct the problem and stop the decline in the quality of life for your constituents! YOU know that many of the ‘fixes’ that have been applied have been temporary or one-time solutions. Failing to address the arbitrary and capricious “tax cuts” only serves to place the state in a continual financial crisis.  Any delay results in further deterioration in the quality of life for Kansans. Despite the cuts to essential programs, Kansas operates on a deficit spending basis.  Yes, technically it is a “legal” circumvention of the balanced budget requirement, but when the plan is to issue debt for transportation, then take the borrowed money for general expenditures, the state is operating on a deficit spending basis.

As a Senator and a Leader of the Legislature, I implore YOU to LEAD on this issue. Don’t make the excuse that Governor Brownback will veto the measure. If that is to be his approach then make him reveal it and defend it. Vetoes can be overridden. YOU know there are others who will join in this effort. Take charge and provide the direction to a solution. Heaven forbid a member of your family might be diagnosed with cancer. If that were the case, I am certain you would immediately move to resolve the issue. So it is with Kansas. YOU have identified the problem, now it is time to move toward a swift resolution. Without a solution, the situation becomes worse with each passing day. YOU were elected to represent the people, not to surrender to a threatened veto!  Nothing changes unless someone makes an effort. Your constituents deserve no less from their Senator. 

Recently, William Falstad, former chair of the Kansas Republican Party, in a letter to The Chanute Tribune, indicated that you put your “personal welfare and ambition before the interests of Kansas.”  Hopefully this statement is not true. If YOU were to take the LEAD on this most important issue, YOU would not only demonstrate this criticism was in error, but also YOU would be showing your courage by standing up for the citizens of Kansas. And what better time to demonstrate the courage of your beliefs than in an election year!

Jerry Weis

Kansas City, Mo, 

(former Chanute resident)

 

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