KU to host conference on Kansas fiscal policy

Tue, 10/01/2013

LAWRENCE — When Kansas lawmakers restructured the state’s tax code in 2012, the changes were dramatic enough that many observers began referring to it as a fiscal experiment.

That fiscal experiment and its effect on communities will be the topic of this year’s annual Kansas Economic Policy Conference on Thursday, Oct. 24, at the Kansas Union.

The annual conference — this year titled “The Kansas Fiscal Experiment – Impacts on Communities” — will feature panel discussions with economists and policy analysts, as well as Kansas community leaders, city and county managers, and K-12 officials.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Carolyn Bourdeaux, associate professor, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University
  • Chris W. Courtwright, chief economist, Kansas Legislature
  • Justin Ross, assistant professor, School of Public & Environmental Affairs, Indiana University

Courtwright will deliver the morning keynote. Bourdeaux and Ross will lead the luncheon panel, which will be moderated by Duane Goossen, vice president for fiscal and health policy with the Kansas Health Institute.

Other panelists include:

  • John Battin, mayor, city of Ulysses
  • Sally Cauble, vice chair, Kansas State Board of Education, State Board District 5
  • Jason Gage, city manager, city of Salina
  • John Heim, executive director, Kansas Association of School Boards
  • Mike Podgursky, professor of economics, University of Missouri
  • Hannes Zacharias, county manager, Johnson County

“Depending on who you ask, you’ll get very different assessments of the Kansas fiscal experiment,” said Donna Ginther, professor of economics and director of the Center for Science, Technology & Economic Policy at KU. “Supporters of the overhaul have called it an ‘adrenaline shot to the heart’ of the state economy, while others have said it will hurt the state’s ability to provide core services, including K-12 education. The goal of this conference is to analyze the state’s fiscal experiment and focus on how it’s affecting Kansas communities.”

For Kansans who can’t make the trip to Lawrence, the conference will be broadcast live to a satellite location in Ulysses, courtesy of Pioneer Communications and the Grant County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism.

Conference registration is $45. For more information, including a full agenda and online registration page, visit www.ipsr.ku.edu/conferen/kepc13.

The conference is presented by KU’s Institute for Policy & Social Research.

MEDIA ARRANGEMENTS: Print and broadcast media are invited to cover the conference and asked to make arrangements with Joe Monaco, KU Office of Public Affairs, prior to the event.



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