May 22, 2017

Short-sighted gimmick will not solve ongoing budget crisis but will jeopardize state’s entire early childhood system

TOPEKA – Today, a small number of lawmakers presented a proposal to securitize funding currently dedicated to early childhood programs in Kansas. This proposal would permanently dismantle – and ultimately place at risk – Kansas’ prized early childhood system for a one-time payment of cash.

“We’re almost one hundred days into the session and rather than address failed tax policy, some lawmakers want to eliminate the state’s entire early childhood infrastructure,” said KAC President and CEO Annie McKay. “Legislators overwhelmingly rejected securitization at the start of the session this year and three times in 2016. Selling off the revenue stream that supports the Children’s Initiatives Fund is robbing from the future of Kansas kids – all to continue a devastating tax experiment.”

Any legislative effort to securitize the state’s tobacco settlement would require repealing the statute that protects the funding structure for early childhood programs.

“On the anniversary of the 2012 tax cuts, we’d hope lawmakers would focus on fixing the cause of the Kansas’ fiscal problems – not sell out the youngest and most vulnerable in our state.”