Jobs for Kansans need to be our first priority. That's why I support targeted tax cuts for small businesses and more investment in public education. We need to get more for Kansans with our state tax dollars which is why I have introduced a bill in the Kansas House which requires any business that receives tax cuts or incentives paid for by Kansas taxpayers to hire 70% of its employees from Kansas. A second bill I introduced would establish a commission within the Department of Commerce, which would develop and grow small, minority, and woman owned businesses in our state.
Education is the key to a stronger Kansas. We need to be investing in our schools if we are going to keep Kansans competitive and attract new businesses with a well-prepared work force. Sadly, over the past two years we have been going in exactly the wrong direction with cuts and more cuts to education. This year's proposal for funding public schools continues the harm. It would lock in cuts permanently and encourage increases in local property taxes. The cuts to education (which I strongly opposed) need to be reversed, and I will support any fiscally responsible package that does so.
Don't be fooled by the governor's proposal for "tax reform' this year. The Kansas Department of Revenue crunched the numbers and found that his proposal gives away millions in tax cuts to the wealthy while burdening the very poor with $85 million in additional taxes. I will not support any tax reform unless it eases the burden on our working middle class and makes the wealthy pay their fair share.