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Brookens address FACT interagency

Changes are certain, he says

Staff writer

Representative Robert Brookens, speaking Friday in Hillsboro at a meeting of Families And Communities Together, gave his perspective on the 2011 Kansas legislative session.

“I can’t give you a road map on what will happen,” he said. “I won’t be able to give you a road map even in January.”

He said a major issue would be to change the way schools are funded, either in dollar amounts, taxes used, or the formula used.

He said there appears to be a shortfall of $400 million for the next fiscal year, but the Kansas economy appears to be rebounding.

“Everything will be up in the air,” he said, “everything that receives state money.”

He noted that Governor-elect Sam Brownback wants to cut personal income taxes to stimulate the economy. Others will advocate eliminating the corporate income tax, he said, but that would not benefit most small businesses.

He encouraged social service representatives to contact the governor-elect and his staff to advocate for their services. Some programs are not effective, he said.

“You need to have proof-positive of what you are doing and show that you are doing some good.”

“Not much may change next year,” he added, “but there will be changes.”

Linda Ogden, FACTS director, asked Brookens about chances for a revocation of the pipeline company’s 10-year exemption on property taxes.

He said there is no chance that any proposal regarding the issue will come to the floor.

“Others (from other counties without the pipeline) are not interested,” he said.

He noted that TransCanada did not ask for the exemption, but it was tacked onto a bill as an amendment.

Last modified Nov. 17, 2010

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