Sunday, March 10, 2013

Kansas GOP May Cut College Aid For Poor To Pay For Tax Cuts

Kansas Republicans have a dilemma: how are they to pay for their tax cuts for the wealthy, signed by Gov. Sam Brownback (right)? They're considering the elimination of a program that helps the poor save for college:

The program on the chopping block benefits nearly 1,000 Kansans who receive up to a $600 yearly match from the state for contributions they make to the state’s 529 college savings plan — a way to shelter college savings accounts from taxes.

Matching contributions benefit households at 200 percent or below the federal poverty level, or incomes roughly below $47,100 a year for a family of four.

“The real question is: Is it a core function of government?” asked Rep. Pete DeGraaf, a Mulvane Republican and chairman of the House General Government Budget Committee.

A move to cut the program comes as lawmakers search to pay for massive income tax cuts enacted last year and even more cuts in the coming years.

...Some argue a program aimed at helping poorer families afford higher education is the wrong place to cut.

“I just think it’s quite unfortunate there are some that believe that stealing people’s dreams is the way to get to zero,” said Rep. Tom Burroughs, a Kansas City, Kan., Democrat.

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