TOPEKA – The Kansas Governor’s Council on Tax Reform has joined Governor Laura Kelly and countless small businesses and individuals in encouraging Congress to support enactment of another round of federal stimulus legislation as soon as possible.
At its November 19th meeting, the Council unanimously approved a motion to memorialize for congressional leadership and the Kansas delegation in Washington, D.C., regarding the importance of the stimulus package, with a special emphasis on provisions relating to funding for state and local governments that would enable them to backfill a portion of receipts that have collapsed in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
The letter to Senator Mitch McConnell, Senator Chuck Schumer, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Representative Kevin McCarthy, signed by bipartisan Co-Chairs Janis Lee and Steve Morris, notes that because Kansas cannot constitutionally operate with a negative budget balance, the state would be facing a “litany of unattractive policy options,” and be less likely to give serious consideration to certain tax relief measures championed by the Kansas Chamber and others absent enactment of some form of the state-and-local revenue sharing component in the federal legislation.
“We need Congress to get back to the negotiating table,” the Co-Chairs said. “It is beyond ridiculous that the second stimulus package has been bogged down amid partisan bickering all summer and fall alongside ever-changing and mixed signals from the outgoing administration.”
Council member Chris Courtwright added that unless the stalemate gets broken, “the magnitude of budget cuts, sleight-of-hand budget tricks and other unattractive options under consideration in Kansas will be much worse as a direct result of the federal failure to provide another round of state and local aid. At that point, anyone upset about tax and budget decisions around our state in 2021 should be able to draw a straight line back to the people who obstructed the legislation in Washington, D.C., this summer and fall.”
Governor Kelly on December 1 also called on Congress to act as soon as possible, emphasizing the increasing likelihood of another recession in 2021 in the absence of a second stimulus package.
“Without economic relief from Washington, there is a growing concern of a national recession in the foreseeable future,” Governor Kelly said. “My administration renews its requests to Congress to prioritize and pass economic relief so we can keep Kansas’ businesses open and our kids in school.”