Thursday, July 31, 2014

Davis campaign: No ‘magic bullet’ on state economy

By The Herald Staff | 7/3/2014

LAWRENCE — Kansas must postpone Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax plan until public education funding is restored to pre-recession levels, Paul Davis said this week.

“We cannot clean up Sam Brownback’s mess overnight,” House Minority Leader Davis, D-Lawrence, and Democratic candidate for governor, said. “What I’m proposing are common sense ideas that prioritize our public schools, incentivize real job creation, and empower communities to maximize their unique opportunities for growth.”

LAWRENCE — Kansas must postpone Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax plan until public education funding is restored to pre-recession levels, Paul Davis said this week.

“We cannot clean up Sam Brownback’s mess overnight,” House Minority Leader Davis, D-Lawrence, and Democratic candidate for governor, said. “What I’m proposing are common sense ideas that prioritize our public schools, incentivize real job creation, and empower communities to maximize their unique opportunities for growth.”

While announcing the appointment of two former lieutenant governors, Gary Sherrer and John Moore, as financial advisors, Davis unveiled his economic vision if elected governor in November. By adding Sherrer, a former Republican lieutenant governor, and Moore, a former Democratic lieutenant governor, Davis said bringing bipartisan leaders to his campaign will engage a diverse collection of business leaders and economic development professionals to develop private-sector job growth in Kansas.

“The key to our success and the answers to our challenges are here in Kansas,” Davis said. “By bringing Kansans together and recommitting ourselves to proven solutions, we can find Kansas solutions. John and Gary have decades of private-sector experience and were highly successful Kansas secretaries of commerce. They share my vision that our economic success should be rooted in proven methods — not experiments.”

If elected, immediately upon taking office, Davis said, he will establish a bipartisan tax commission to address two issues: Accountability measures within the tax code and targeted incentives for job growth, and proposals aimed at reversing the $400 million property tax increase that he said has occurred during the Brownback administration’s tenure.

Sherrer’s and Moore’s work with private-sector leaders will be rooted in the candidate’s economic strategy, Davis said. The two will focus on public education and workforce training, partnerships within public and private communities, strong public infrastructure — roads, highways, water, energy, etc. — and Kansas’ image to be “aggressively promoted” to help cultivate new business opportunities.

“There is no magic bullet in economic development and job creation,” Sherrer said. “To suggest a massive income tax cut that is skewed to the wealthy is such a magic bullet, is fiscally irresponsible, defies logic and facts and undermines those elements critical to economic development — quality, affordable education and solid infrastructure. The No. 1 demand of businesses is a well-trained, educated workforce. Cutting funding to education and driving up tuition impacts quality, affordability and availability. We need to get back to the basics: community partnerships, increased resources to support community efforts, new creative programs to attract new business and aggressive marketing both nationally and internationally.”

Brownback has no private-sector credentials to grow the Kansas economy, Moore said.

“Our governor has given away $2 billion worth of tax revenue without the guarantee of a single Kansas job,” Moore said. “That is not pro-growth — that is profoundly irresponsible.”

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