Emma O’Brien
January 11, 2022 


Topeka, KS — Tonight, Governor Laura Kelly delivered her fourth State of the State address, reminding Kansans of all she and her administration have accomplished over the last three years. Included in her long list of achievements: fully funding Kansas’ public schools and reviving the state’s economy after years of mismanagement under the previous administration that prioritized tax cuts over Kansas families.

“By fully funding public education for four straight years and fixing the state’s budget, Governor Kelly proved Kansas doesn’t have to choose between being fiscally responsible and providing Kansas kids with access to a world-class education,” said Emma O’Brien, spokesperson for the KDP. “Governor Kelly’s steady leadership helped guide Kansas through budget crises and a global pandemic to a growing economy. The last thing Kansans want is a return to the Brownback-style leadership that his former lawyer and chief enabler, Derek Schmidt, would bring.”

As a state Senator and former Majority Leader, Schmidt repeatedly voted against adequate school funding, leaving Kansas public schools unconstitutionally funded well into the 2000s. As Attorney General, Schmidt spent nearly $2 million of Kansas’ taxpayer dollars defending the unconstitutionally low funding levels, and fought for half a decade to keep this funding low, even in the face of court orders that demanded funding increases. This unconstitutionally low funding only came to an end when Governor Kelly was sworn into office in 2019.

Derek Schmidt was also part of the disastrous draining of the Kansas Highway Fund, stealing $2 billion to finance Sam Brownback’s tax cuts and neglecting thousands of miles of Kansas highways along the way. Governor Kelly has made sure that money designated for roads and bridges actually gets spent on Kansas’ roads and bridges. Governor Kelly’s bipartisan approach to keeping public schools funded and responsibly managing the state budget resonates with voters who for too long have felt forgotten about by lifelong politicians like Derek Schmidt. It’s why voters will re-elect her in 2022.