Governor Brownback wants to cut taxes in Kansas. Here’s how. He asked all agencies to find ways to decrease their budgets by 10% so . . .
If you live in Kansas and have been receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) because you are poor and/or sick you should probably consider moving. 14,000 of you will no longer receive Temporary Assistance. And you lifetime limits have been shortened so maybe you should plan on dying sooner, too.
If you are a disabled adult living in extreme poverty and plan to continue to receive $100 a month from welfare, forget it. That funding is also gone.
The Kansas Department for Children and Families (now called DCF) is serving many fewer families than a year ago. 94 agency positions have or will be cut.
In its proposal, DCF projected that low-income parents (mostly single moms) will be required to work 30 hours a week instead of the now required 20 hours.
DCF and the governor believe increasing the work requirement will result in 1900 of the 8,800 families currently receiving child-care assistance will leave the program and not return because they won’t be able to find the extra hours work and/or will have to drop out of school. Either will mean that parents will need to turn to lower-quality childcare.
The loss of those 1900 families will save the state $4.8 million (or $7.9 million, counting federal funds).
“This will be a lose-lose for children,” says Leadell Ediger, executive director at Child Care Aware, a nonprofit organization that helps low- and modest-income families find child care.
If you are old and poor, watch out. The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services have been asked to cut 10% from their budget, too. They say they can do it with a new financial management system and new service standards.
Until recently, Kansans have been proud of their schools, but Governor Brownback proposes to cut education by $232 per student, or over $100 million dollars from the 2013 budget. The results – less teachers, larger class sizes, no grade school librarians in some parts of the state, no music, or art classes.
Brownback says he is now a Catholic though he has changed his religion a number of times. He was brought up as a Methodist and professes to be deeply religious. In an interview in 2006, he told Rolling Stone, “I am a seeker. Every spiritual path has its own scent, and I want to inhale them all.” Rolling Stone nicknamed him “God’s Senator.”
Governor Brownback lived in Washington during his days as a senator. He purportedly lived for a time in a house on C street owned “by a group that is affiliated with the Fellowship,” said CREW [Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, D.C] which is described in Wikipedia as “a shadowy religious organization. . . In addition CREW said that Brownback [lived with]. . . Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Jim DeMint, R-S.C., and John Ensign, R-Nev., and U.S. Reps. Mike Doyle, D-Penn., Heath Shuler, D-N.C., Bart Stupak, D-Mich., and Zach Wamp, R-Tenn.”
According to Wikipedia, “The Fellowship has been described as an organization of the most politically well-connected ministries in the United States. The Fellowship shuns publicity and its members share a vow of secrecy.”
Brian Hart, Brownback spokesperson said, “He stayed in the group house for less than a year . . .”
Recently Governor Brownback proclaimed a ReigndownUSA event to be “a day of restoration . . . We collectively repent of distancing ourselves from God and ask for His mercy on us,” the proclamation said.
Executive Director Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State said the proclamation went too far by “proclaiming that this is good for everyone in the state of Kansas.” He said the statement was tantamount to making the ReignDown USA rally a “special state event.”
The group also accused ReignDown USA organizers of wanting “government leaders to adopt their religious vision and impose it on us all.”
In his inaugural address, Brownback said he wanted Kansas to be known as the state of hope, freedom, and opportunity. It is reasonable to think that a governor with such avowed faith would be more sensitive to the plight of the poor, the sick, and the elderly. It is also logical to believe that a truly caring governor wishes to better, not diminish, the educational opportunities of the state’s children.