The Senate Finance Committee passed amended versions of two dangerous bills that will go to the full Senate for floor votes tomorrow.
HB 531, the income tax cut bill, would slash $439-million from the state budget every year when fully phased in.
HB 1687 would allow millions of dollars in tax credits for donations to private schools, an end run that is, effectively, a voucher bill hiding in a statute intended to help children in foster care.
Legislators claim that they cannot afford to fully fund our public schools (which are underfunded this year by $272-million) and that they cannot afford to bring teacher pay to the Southeastern average. It is unconscionable that they would intentionally reduce revenue and divert millions of tax dollars to private schools while leaving public school children underfunded and teachers underpaid.
Please ask senators to VOTE NO on HB 531 and HB 1687.
Capitol Switchboard: 601.359.3770
Tell Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann that we want public schools fully funded and teachers paid at the Southeastern average – not tax cuts or vouchers!
Lt. Gov. Hosemann: 601.359.3200
Also today, the House rammed another disastrous income tax amendment through committee and took it straight to a floor vote minutes later where it passed 83-33. That amended bill, SB 3164, would eliminate the income tax, removing $700-million from state revenue in just the first year.
When the Kansas Legislature eliminated that state’s income tax, the result was catastrophic. Kansas’ state revenue plummeted, causing:
- 9 rounds of state budget cuts in the 4 years following the tax cut
- decimation of public services, especially public schools
- school programs, teachers, and staff were slashed
- class sizes exploded
- schools ran out of money and had to end the school year early
- 3 credit downgrades for the state
- lowest-in-region economic indicators (job growth, unemployment, GDP, etc.)
- what The Atlantic called “an ongoing atmosphere of fiscal crisis”
- a furious electorate, resulting in reversal of the tax cut and eventual restoration of the 3-bracket income tax
Please give your senator a call today and ask for NO votes on HB 531 and HB 1687. Ask your family and friends to call, too. Our teachers and children are counting on us, and together, we’ve got this!