Tax Study Released Today

A new study on the ramifications of lowering the state income tax was released today at a statehouse news conference. Bernie Koch, executive director of KEPC, and study author Dr. John Wong presented findings at the statehouse today. The study finds that, for every 1 job created, 1.63 are lost due to study released today finds that a lowering of the income tax would result in a loss of 1.63 jobs due to a reduction in overall state spending. The study was commissioned by the Kansas Economic Progress Council.

The press release is available here, and the ful text of the study is available here.

Dr. Wong’s slide deck is available here.

KEPC UPDATE: Prison system, shrinking economy, disappointing labor report

In this issue …

  • Lawmakers will look at prison system budget after disturbances
  • Kansas economy shrank 1st quarter
  • A disappointing June labor report


Lawmakers will look at prison system budget after disturbances

Several years of state budget cuts are having their consequences on state prisons, where recent disturbances are putting a spotlight on serious safety problems.

Low pay for employees, unfilled positions, and difficulty recruiting employees may be contributing to recent disturbances at both the El Dorado and Lansing correctional facilities.

The agenda for Thursday’s Legislative Budget Committee meeting in Topeka includes an update on corrections by Kansas Secretary of Corrections Joe Norwood.

Committee Chair Senator Carolyn McGinn (R-Sedgwick) told the Kansas City Star she’s concerned about double-bunking of inmates, long hours for guards, and lockdown problems.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” McGinn told the Star.

Some of the reported problems:

  • Union representatives say some employees are required to work 16-hour shifts
  • On June 29 at El Dorado, some prisoners refused to return to their cell block. Visitation was cancelled for two cell houses
  • Union reps also report receiving information about disturbances up to two months prior to the June 29th incident
  • There have been reports of inmate stabbings. On July 28th at El Dorado, two prisoners were taken for medical treatment after squabbles with other inmates.  Reports quote Corrections Department spokesman Todd Fertig saying one inmate suffered several puncture wounds.
  • As of Monday, July 24, Lansing had 116 staff vacancies out of about 682 workers
  • Staff positions at El Dorado are believed to be about 20 percent vacant

Here’s a link to a Kansas City Star story on the problems.


Kansas economy shrank 1st quarter

A report by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis says the Kansas economy shrank -0.7 percent during the first quarter of 2017.  This was at the same time the national economy was growing at a rate of 1.2 percent.

As has been the pattern since the 2012 Kansas income tax cuts (which were supposed to grow the economy) all of our surrounding states did better with the exception of Nebraska, where the economy shrank -4.0 percent.

  • Missouri grew 0.9 percent.
  • Colorado grew 0.4 percent.
  • Oklahoma grew 1.9 percent

Kansas was only one of seven states where Gross Domestic Product shrank from the previous quarter.

The Bureau says the worst decline was in agriculture.  Retail, utilities, finance and insurance, information services, professional services, business management, educational services, and arts and entertainment all shrank.

Oil and gas production, manufacturing, construction, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, real estate, administrative services, health care, accommodation and food services, and government services all grew.

Here’s a link to the BEA news release.


A disappointing June labor report

The Kansas Labor Department’s June labor market report contains more bad news.

Since June of 2016, the Kansas economy lost 4,000 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs and 4,000 private sector jobs.

Here’s a link to the report, which contains detailed employment growth information by industry.

The July Labor Report will come out on August 18.


KEPC UPDATE: Cut spending? Prison problems? June revenue, T-WORKS, school finance, college costs and benefits

In this issue … Cut spending? What about prison problems? June revenue growth came largely from corporate taxes T-WORKS Progress Preparing for school finance arguments What a degree costs and can get you   Cut spending?  What about prison problems? The media spin from the Brownback Administration about the income tax bill has been to […]

[Continue reading…]

KEPC UPDATE: Supreme court hearing, tuition increases, lottery, budget, Osawatomie, nothing on property tax lid

In this issue … Kansas Supreme Court to set school finance hearing schedule Board of Regents approves tuition rate increases Governor vetoes Lottery extension/vending machines How the budget turned out Feds don’t certify Osawatomie State Hospital No action on property tax lid Bill Tracking   Kansas Supreme Court to set school finance hearing schedule Now […]

[Continue reading…]

KEPC NEWS RELEASE: Income tax bill will ultimately be good for the economy

The Kansas Legislature’s veto override means spending can improve on government services that aid economic growth The Kansas Economic Progress Council (KEPC) welcomes passage of Senate Bill 30 by the House and Senate veto override Tuesday night.  KEPC opposed the 2012 income tax cuts and has worked to reverse them for the past five years. […]

[Continue reading…]

KEPC UPDATE: School finance, debate held until staff can write agreement, house adjourned until 8a Monday

In this issue… House and Senate negotiators have reached agreement on a school finance bill that is linked to a revenue-raising income tax/sales tax on services bill. House leadership had hoped to debate the measure Sunday night, but legislative staff needed time to put the agreement into writing.   The House of Representatives has adjourned until […]

[Continue reading…]

KEPC UPDATE: Nothing new on income tax, school finance conference, gun bill to Gov

In this issue… Nothing new on income tax School finance goes to a conference committee Gun bill sent to Governor   Here’s what’s going on at the veto session in Topeka as of Friday morning. The House and Senate are scheduled to go in at 10 a.m.   There is no debate scheduled in the […]

[Continue reading…]

KEPC UPDATE: Senate passes school finance, lottery compromise, gun debate, nothing new on tax bill

In this issue… Senate passes school finance Lottery compromise: extension for 15 years Senate debates guns Nothing new on tax bill   Senate passes school finance   The Kansas Senate passed its version of school finance Wednesday by a vote of 23 to 16.  The bill went to the Kansas House of Representatives which asked […]

[Continue reading…]

KEPC UPDATE: Kansas Legislature takes 4 day weekend

Afternoon Update: Kansas Legislature takes a four-day weekend   After passing a House version of school finance on a final vote this morning, the Kansas Legislature has adjourned for an unpaid four-day Memorial Day weekend.   The Kansas House passed House Bill 2410, the school finance rewrite, by a final vote of 84 to 39.  […]

[Continue reading…]

KEPC UPDATE: House & senate advance school finance, income tax bill delayed

In this issue … House advances school finance bill 81 to 40 Senate Committee passes its version of school finance Income tax bill delayed; maybe Thursday debate   House advances school finance bill 81 to 40   The Kansas House of Representatives advanced a long-awaited school finance bill Wednesday after several hours of debate.    […]

[Continue reading…]

KEPC UPDATE: School finance debate schedule, tax bill debate Wednesday

In this issue …   House schedules school finance debate Another income tax bill debate Wednesday morning     House schedules school finance debate   Democrats and some Moderate Republicans have argued all legislative session that a new school finance formula should be debated BEFORE the legislature works on a tax increase bill.  That is […]

[Continue reading…]