But an alert reporter from the Wichita Eagle challenged that claim, leading to an admission from Brownback’s budget director, that, oops, due to a spreadsheet error, the governor was working with incorrect information. Instead of falling, state spending under Brownback was slightly higher than it was when his predecessor, Democrat Mark Parkinson, was governor.
Without documentation, the governor says his proposed merger of the Kansas Turnpike Authority and state Transportation Department will save $30 million in two years. When questioned by a legislative committee, the state transportation secretary said he assumed the savings would come through eliminating duplication, though of what he was not sure.
After a couple of hours of testimony, committee chairwoman Mary Pilcher-Cook moved to adjourn the meeting. Sen. Laura Kelly, the ranking Democrat, interrupted with an inconvenient question.
“Shouldn’t we hear from some proponents of a Medicaid expansion?” she asked.
Pilcher-Cook was having none of that. The public health and welfare committee will hear only one side of an issue with profound implications for Kansas, its economy and its citizens.