March 28, 2016
Now we know just how desperate the Brownback administration is.
Outrageously, the governor is considering the option of issuing bonds backed by tobacco settlement money.
That money, about $50 million a year, is intended for children’s programs.
By bonding this revenue, the state could immediately raise up to $600 million, or more, in cash, according to an estimate by Citibank.
When you are ready to sell you children’s future for hard cash, you are truly desperate.
The governor has already swept money from the Children’s Initiative Fund.
His budget for the coming year proposes to sweep $50 million more, replacing that money with $44 billion from the state’s general fund.
Some in the legislature have been ready to go along with that fiscal trick.
Plainly, if the state were not about to run out of cash — really — this nonsense would not be going on.
Shannon Cotsoradis, president of Kansas Action for Children, deserves credit for blowing the whistle on the tobacco fund bonding idea.
So do our friends in the press in Topeka.
No matter how desperate the governor and his aides may be to fill the fast-growing hole in their budget, there can be no justification for balancing the state’s budget on our childrens’ future.