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Brownback Task Force Chair: No Political Agenda In Proposed Changes To Revenue Forecasting Process

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Sam Williams, a retired Wichita advertising executive and chair of Governor Sam Brownback’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Work Group, talks about the group’s report Tuesday at a Statehouse news conference.";s:

A task force appointed by Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback says changes are needed to improve the revenue estimates used to build the state budget. But the top Democrat on the Senate’s budget-writing committee says the recommendations may have more to do with politics.

Retired Wichita advertising executive Sam Williams chaired the task force. He told reporters at a Statehouse news conference that the group’s sole aim was to retool a revenue estimating process that has been increasingly inaccurate in recent years.

“I would encourage you as you report this to do the same thing that we as a working group did, and that is to get out of the current reality and get up to what we’re trying to do,” Williams says

But Senator Laura Kelly, a Topeka Democrat, sees possible political motives.

“Quite honestly right now I don’t trust the report,” Kelly says.

One recommendation calls for reformatting monthly revenue reports so that they no longer show how close collections are coming to meeting projections.

That, Kelly says, would lessen pressure on lawmakers to reverse the Brownback income tax cuts that she says are the main cause of the state’s revenue and budget problems.

Brownback insists that downturns in key sectors of the Kansas economy are to blame.