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Key quotes from the State of the State Address

andy lambertJanuary 15, 2014

 

Below are some of the key quotes from Governor Sam Brownback’s 2014 State of the State Address:

 

On financial issues

“When we gathered here three years ago, we faced two big challenges: the economy and the budget. Kansas state government was flat broke. We had begun the fiscal year with $876.05 in the bank.The state couldn’t even pay its own bills on time. Everyone from school districts to service vendors was suffering months of delays, because state government had no cash.”

 

“The Government was not serving the people. Unfortunately, it was the other way around. So we had two big challenges—get people working again and restore fiscal discipline.”brownback

 

“When we took office, we promised Kansans tax relief. Tax rates for all working men and women in Kansas just went down again at the beginning of 2014… We stopped counting on government to create prosperity and put our faith in the people of Kansas….Since December 2010, Kansas has added on average, more than a thousand private sector jobs every month and our unemployment rate has gone from 6.9 percent to 5.1 percent tied for the tenth lowest rate in the United States. We’ve put cash in the bank, we’re paying our bills on time and we’ve balanced three budgets in a row…Simply put…the government is back in its proper place – serving the people.”

“…We’ve reversed a decades-long trend, as finally, the personal income of Kansas families is rising faster than government spending…Not only is Kansas Top 10 in employment, we are listed among the Top 10 best states in which to make a living and Top 10 for the lowest cost of living.”

 

“In fact, by the end of this decade, for the first time in our history, Kansas’ population will surpass three million people…When that three millionth Kansan is born, what kind of state will we have built for her?”

On education budget

“Kansas ranks fourth among all states in the percentage of our budget committed to education…more than 50 percent. When we look at funding from all government sources, Kansas schools receive more than $12,500 per student. For every classroom of 20 students, that’s a quarter million dollars in taxpayer spending…So it’s worth noting that school districts across Kansas have made a priority of all-day Kindergarten, even while the state has funded only half. It seems strange to me that the state counts all of the 12 and only half of the K… Recently, the State Board of Education came forward with a bipartisan idea to achieve this goal—proposing an increase in the student count for kindergarten age students every year for the next five years. This proposal is targeted. It is reasonable. It will benefit Kansas school kids. And again, thanks to the growing economy and the work of this Legislature, it is affordable.”

 

“Our technical education programs are soaring since the State committed to paying for all tech ed courses taken by high school students. We have seen a 75 percent increase in enrollment in just two years. With these skills our students will find a path to progress through education and good jobs with good wages. They will form the foundation for their families and the Kansas economy.”

 

“Our Kansas universities are critical. We have been making strategic investments in areas of unique excellence and importance to the Kansas economy – and more are included in my budget proposal.. In my budget proposal, I will continue to support our universities, community and technical colleges and I am confident they will produce the next generation of Kansas leaders.”

 

“On the number one item in the state budget – education – the Constitution empowers the Legislature—the people’s representatives—to fund our schools.Let us resolve that our schools remain open and are not closed by the courts or anyone else…Prosperity, responsibility.Education, opportunity. Safety, natural bounty. Freedom, sovereignty. Reconciliation.”

On job opportunities

“As we continue our climb from the troughs of the Great Recession, there are still too many Kansans actively looking for work who can’t find it, and others are working harder than ever and just can’t seem to get ahead. Our challenge is to take this restored growth and fiscal responsibility and make its benefits real for families across our state—to build a state and an economy that works for everyone. We know the path is through education, employment and family stability.”

On rural Kansas

“Now if you’ll indulge a farm kid just a little bit, I hope our three millionth Kansan gets to grow up in rural Kansas like I did…Our Rural Opportunity Zones program is flourishing in a majority of our counties and there will be proposals this year to expand it to even more. In fact, we now have a housing shortage in many of our rural communities. In the budget, I will propose an additional $2 Million to address this shortage, focused on moderate income housing. In addition to housing, rural communities need access to medical care. My budget will include money for the Rural Bridging Program to bring doctors to rural Kansas.”

On water situation

“If the three millionth Kansan is to stay and build a life here then we must leave her a state with access to our lifeblood, water. And we are expending the liquid capital of our state. Fortunately, strong bipartisan majorities of this Legislature took steps to extend the life of the Ogallala Aquifer and encourage best practices towards water usage statewide…people from across our state will gather to develop a comprehensive water strategy—a strategy to secure our water future for the next 50 years. Without water, there is no future.

On veterans

“In Kansas we honor our veterans. We remember their service with gratitude and are humbled by their commitment to this great nation. Honored by their commitment and sacrifice, inspired by this place, let us dedicate ourselves anew to doing the people’s business.”

 

“Today, the nation dithers while the path forward seems uncharted. America can’t decide which way to go…Yet, the path forward is clear. Kansas is leading an American Renaissance – a return to the virtue and character that built this state and a great nation in the first place. The path is NOT uncharted. We know the way.”

Outro

“Our dependence is not on Big Government but on a Big God that loves us and lives within us.Our future is bright. Our renaissance is assured IF we move from dithering to action…IF we listen to our own better Angels and the still, small voice that calls us onward… Which way to choose? We know the way. God wrote it in our hearts, ‘Do the right thing, seek the truth, defend the weak, live courageous lives.'”

This story was written and compiled by Beau Tiongson. Full text of 2014 State of the State of Kansas Address delivered by Governor Sam Brownback and Kansas Office of the Governor

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