Governor Sam Brownback will deliver the 2013 SOTS address to a joint session of the Kansa legislature this evening at 6:30 pm. The Governor is expected to outline his agenda for the 2013 legislative session which will likely focus on his plan to balance the projected $267 million shortfall. The Governor has previously indicated his openness to an extension of the one cent statewide sales tax passed in 2010. A portion (.4 cents), dedicated to KDOT, will remain on the books without legislative action but the remaining 6 tenths of a cent is scheduled to expire on July 1st. Extension of the expiring .6 cents could mean as much as $250 million to the state budget but extension of the sales tax may be politically difficult with both Democrats and some Republicans in opposition.
The governor will also likely respond to the recent court of appeals decision ruling the current K-12 school funding to be unconstitutionally inadequate. Yesterday GOP leaders in both the House and the Senate voiced their opposition to the ruling. Implementation of the court’s order to fund base aid per pupil at $4,492 would result in a tax increase of nearly $600 million. The decision will be appealed by Attorney General Derek Schmidt but in the meantime will likely cast a shadow over any discussion of K-12 funding during the 2013 legislative session.
Tune into watch the Governors SOTS address at 6:30 pm or you can listen on your local Kansas public broadcasting radio station. In the Pittsburg area that is KRPS 91.3.