Kansas GOP Gov. Sam Brownback says Republican governors are not trying to resolve budgetary problems by obliterating organized labor, and he takes issue with President Barack Obama’s statement they are seeking to denigrate public employees.
“Nobody is doing what the president is saying. People are not
denigrating state workers, they are not hurting state workers for as far as their ability to work,” Brownback Monday told Fox News’ Neal Cavuto. “What we simply got, is we got a fiscal crisis – we’ve got a huge budget hole in the state of Kansas, and many states do, and so you’ve got to deal with your costs centers and your cost issues and those, at the end of the day, end up involving state employees.
“What we’re doing is dealing with the fiscal problems that we have,” he said. “I have a $300 million budget hole in the state of Kansas next fiscal year. To deal with that, you’ve to go throughout state government and look at places and ways that you can cut costs. We had to eliminate 2,000 FTE [full-time employment] positions in state government last year, and these are positions that had been held open for a period of time, but we had to do that to keep our cost structure down.
“We have a structure that is just spending too much money, and you’ve got to get that pruned down,” Brownback said.
Cavuto asked whether you can separate dealing with the budget cuts and the issues surrounding public unions.
“I suppose you could. But there is a tie that’s there between the two of them,” Brownback said. “And what I think we have to do – and what we have to debate about in America – is the structural cost of government and what is driving that growth in the structural cost of government – and that’s what we’ve got to debate at the federal, state, and local level.”
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