TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Republican Party of Kansas gave their response to Governor Laura Kelly’s State of the State speech soon after it concluded Tuesday evening.
Republicans’ response to the governor’s speech was read by Speaker of the House, Ron Ryckman. Ryckman started the response by saying the Kansas GOP had been focused on some of the same goals as the governor over the past year. He stated that while Republicans and the governor may disagree on how to achieve certain goals, they can disagree “in the spirit of cooperation and civility.”
“However, it’s not enough to talk about goals,” Ryckman said. “Unfortunately, many of the promises we heard tonight don’t align with the governor’s record.”
Ryckman outlined three ways that the Republicans saw the governor’s work as contradictory.
“The governor says she wants to reduce the sales tax on food,” Ryckman said. “But, she vetoed the plan to do just that. The governor says she wants to send one-time income tax relief to Kansans. But, a year ago, she blocked Kansans from meaningful income tax relief in order to feed government spending. The governor says she wants to foster economic growth, but she closed small businesses and then vetoed a plan to offer them the recovery loans they needed to weather the closure.”
He went on to say that the governor has also vetoed property tax relief for families, blocked a scholarship plan meant to help those entering the workforce, vetoed protections for Second Amendment rights, opposed efforts to preserve Kansas culture and more.
“Many Kansans say they have grown tired of broken promises,” Ryckman said. “Listening to your concerns, your priorities, Republicans are focused on a different approach.”
Ryckman went on to say that the Republican’s approach will focus on ratcheting down the sales tax, taking a new stance on spending federal dollars, stabilizing the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System fund, securing the Rainy Day Fund, continuing to invest in mental health and protecting access to reliable water sources.
Ryckman then quoted President Eisenhower by saying, “The proudest thing I can claim is that I am from [Kansas].” Ryckman finished up the Republican response by saying that they pledge to make smart economic decisions, meaningful tax cuts and maintain steady leadership.
“Together, I know we can keep the American dream, the Kansas dream, alive and well,” Ryckman said.