Former State Budget Director provided non-partisan perspective on past, present and future of Kansas budget and implications for schools and rural communities

Kansas Farmers Union and a group of county chapters hosted four state budget education presentations featuring former Kansas State Budget director Duane Goossen during the month of September. All presentations were open to KFU members and the general public.

Goossen served as state budget director for 12 years in the administrations of three governors — Republican Bill Graves and Democrats Kathleen Sebelius and Mark Parkinson. More recently, he served as Vice President for Fiscal and Health Policy for the Kansas Health Institute. Drawing on his long experience in both Republican and Democratic administrations, Goossen currently writes and speaks with civic organizations and other Kansans on issues related to the Kansas budget.

“Spending too much can certainly drive a budget out of balance. However, the income side of the equation has equal importance,” Goossen said. “A dramatically sharp revenue decline in Kansas has destabilized the state’s finances. Even though spending has been reduced in many areas, the state spent hundreds of millions more than it received in FY 2014 (July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014), and will do so again in FY 2015, emptying the state’s bank account.”

Information like this is concerning, to say the least, and Kansas Farmers Union wanted Kansans to have the opportunity to hear Mr. Goossen’s historical knowledge about our state’s finances and current financial situation. “The goal in hosting these presentations was to educate our citizens on the impact recent decisions may have on rural property taxes, services, and the future of our state, especially in regards to our rural schools,” says KFU President Donn Teske. “KFU is concerned about the effect this deficit will have on its members, the farmers and ranchers across rural Kansas, and is eager to know how the Kansas Legislature will remedy the issue in the next legislative session and beyond.”

KANSAS STATE BUDGET PRESENTATIONS

McPherson: Thursday, September 18 6:00-8:00 PM


hosted by KFU and McPherson County Farmers Union
 at Perkins Family Restaurant & Bakery meeting room
 2111 E Kansas Ave, McPherson, KS 67460

Lawrence: Monday, September 22 7:00-8:00 PM

hosted by KFU and Kansas Beginning Farmers Coalition
 at Lawrence Public Library Auditorium 
707 Vermont St, Lawrence, KS 66044.

Seneca: Wednesday, September 24 6:00-8:00 PM

hosted by KFU and Nemaha County Farmers Union 
at Windmill Inn Restaurant meeting room
 603 N. 4th St. Seneca, KS 66538

Belleville: Thursday, September 25 6:00-8:00 PM

hosted by KFU and Republic County Farmers Union
 at Bel Villa Restaurant meeting room
 213 U.S. Hwy 36, Belleville, KS 66935

Read Duane Goossen’s blog: The Kansas Budget

Read local coverage of the budget presentations.
McPherson Sentinel: Speaker: Kansas budget out of balance
Lawrence Journal-World: Former budget director says tax cuts make higher education funding ‘vulnerable’