Gov. Sam Brownback probably will tout job growth in Kansas in his State of the State speech on Tuesday as revenue and budget woes continue to beset state government.
The annual speech is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Capitol.
While the Republican governor has been on the defensive for his tax policies — often blamed for Kansas’ ongoing budget shortfalls — he enjoys support from a Legislature dominated by conservative Republicans. Recent remarks indicate he’s in no mood to back down now.
In his address last January, Brownback said he was committed to zeroing out the state income tax to promote economic growth. But reduced state revenues followed the reduction of income tax rates and the elimination of income taxes for many small-business owners. To boost revenues and close a budget gap, the Legislature in the 2015 session increased sales and cigarette taxes.
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Brownback said recently that his tax policies promoted job creation and that projected budget shortfalls this fiscal year and next can be handled without additional tax increases.
The event Tuesday — scheduled on the same night as President Barack Obama’s 8 p.m. State of the Union address — marks Kansas’ 134th State of the State address.
Brownback’s speech will be live-streamed on www.kansas.gov and be available to TV and radio stations. It will not be broadcast, as it has been for years, by Wichita public television station KPTS. A station executive said KPTS didn’t have the funds this year to cover the broadcast.
Kansas City public radio station KCUR will air a taped broadcast of Brownback’s address at 7 p.m. Tuesday.