May 31, 2013
The Kansas Legislature’s overtime bill hit $330,000 today with no resolution on taxes or a budget. And Gov. Brownback and Kansas Republicans can only blame themselves for this wasteful spending.
The majority party has spent nearly three weeks fighting over how best to raise taxes on working Kansans and after multiple rounds of failed votes have only a growing overtime bill to show for their efforts.
They have manged to pass a resolution praising Kansas State coaches, another resolution lamenting the pressing issue of discrimination against Christian soldiers in the United States military, and restarted a fight to block state-created Common Core Education Standards. Upon reflection, it may have been better to just set the whole $330K on fire opposed to giving the legislature nearly two weeks of free time to sow more unnecessary or harmful legislation.
That money that the legislature is spending on themselves in the form of overtime pay could have gone to any number of worthier causes. Off the top of our head, here are a few better uses for $330,000 taxpayer dollars.
The Kansas Legislature’s wasted $330,000 could have been spent to:
Hire ten new teachers
Hire eight new Kansas Highway Patrol troopers
Purchase over 5,000 textbooks for Kansas students
Distribute over $1,000 to every Kansas school district
Move eight disabled Kansans off waiting lists for Medicaid services.
Facing a projected budget deficit of $802 million caused by the worst tax plan in America, Kansas legislators need to protect every taxpayer dollar jealously so we can continue funding the priorities that matter to Kansans: strong schools, safe communities, and quality infrastructure.
But instead of spending these funds wisely to improve our state, Gov. Brownback and GOP legislators have squandered $330,000 on overtime pay for themselves protecting tax breaks for billionaires.
Worst of all? There’s no clear end in sight, meaning Kansas taxpayers will be on the hook for thousands more in overtime pay to a group of legislators incapable of doing the job they are paying themselves to do.