FactFinder 12 looks at Brownback's first term
Updated On: Jul 22 2014 12:30:16 PM CDT
In one of the most conservative states in the country, the governor's race looks to be as tight as ever. Governor Sam Brownback filed for re-election in Topeka Thursday. He will likely face Democratic nominee Paul Davis.
FactFinder 12 went back to 2010 to breakdown some of the areas where Brownback feels he has made a positive impact on Kansas.
The governor says he's put more money in the pockets of Kansans by decreasing income taxes and by completely eliminating income taxes for most small businesses. He also signed a law that provided $42 million in unemployment tax relief to 40,000 businesses. Critics say those cuts will hurt the state long-term.
Moody's Investor Service recently downgraded the state's credit rating. The report says Brownback's tax cuts have not been fully offset by spending cuts. In April, state revenue fell $92.8 million short of projections.
Moody's is also concerned about the state's ability to make future cuts, because it is now forced by the courts to fund K-12 education and by the federal government to fund medicaid.
Brownback says he's created 50,000 new jobs since the beginning of 2011. He also takes credit for increasing the average weekly pay by 6.9% from that time until 2013. The governor says he's increased private sector employment by more than 1,000 jobs every month, but many of his critics say that's not enough when compared to other states.
From FY 2010 through FY 2015, Brownback says he's increased state aid to schools more than $200 million, but most of that did not end up in the classroom. He says he stabilized funding for public universities and he takes credit for 676 more teachers working in the state.
He also claims he's increased the average teacher's salary by 2.3% since 2010. Many teachers weren't very happy with the governor last month when he signed a law that takes their tenure away. Teachers protested around the state.
The law came after a Supreme Court ruling that stated Kansas schools are not adequately funded. To boost aid for poor districts, Brownback felt the anti-tenure law was the answer. He says employment issues are now in the hands of local school boards.
Again, Brownback will likely face Davis in November. A spokesperson says if elected, Davis' top priority is to listen to business and education leaders about their concerns with the state, then react to it.
We know candidates make many claims during political races. Count on FactFinder 12 to investigate what's fact and what's not throughout the 2014 race.