LTE: Republican legislators put politics and party over people – Osage County Online | Osage County News

LTE: Republican legislators put politics and party over people

Dear Editor,

Governor Kelly, with support from Democratic legislators, attempted to pass a bill in 2022 to lower the tax on food to zero starting in January 2023. Kansas has one of the highest state sales tax rates on food in the country.

Since recovering from the failed Brownback experiment, the state of Kansas has recovered and exceeded revenue expectations for 26 straight months. The rainy day fund in the Kansas budget had nearly a billion dollars of balance at the time the bill was introduced, and is growing. It was time to figure out a way to help the people of Kansas with the new found budget surplus. Governor Kelly proposed lowering the state sales tax to zero as a way of helping Kansans with the rising cost of food.

Because it was an election year, the Republican supermajority in the legislature did not want to give this win to Governor Kelly. Yet, they knew it would be very unpopular to block this bill that would help Kansans, especially in an election year. They knew the state could afford to do it. They knew the people could use this help. Despite this, they blocked the bill and proposed an incremental decrease beginning in 2023 starting with 2.5 percent, finally arriving to zero in 2025, two years later.

Republican legislators put politics and party over the needs of the people. Axing the food tax to zero has strong public support. The governor promised while running for re-election to put the zero tax rate back on the agenda and she has made good on her promise.

It is time to hold our Republican legislators accountable to We The People. Contact your local representatives, Mark Schreiber, 60th District, at 785-296-2721 or Mark.Schreiber@house.ks.gov, Eric Smith, 76th District, at 785-296-7557 or Eric.Smith@house.ks.gov, and Jeff Longbine at 785-296-7367 or Jeff.Longbine@senate.ks.gov.

Republican legislators are disconnected from the will and needs of the people. It is going to take pressure from their constituents to remind them who is in charge.

Chuck Torres
Olpe, Kan.


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