Limbaugh accused Sebelius of blocking KS tax refunds, ignoring Republicans' budget demands

››› ››› CHRISTINE SCHWEN

On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh claimed that Gov. Kathleen Sebelius "at one point was refusing to send out money that Kansas taxpayers had overpaid." In fact, after Kansas halted payments in February on $12 million in tax returns due to budget shortfalls, Republicans in the state legislature refused to approve Sebelius' proposal to transfer money between state accounts in order to pay tax refunds, state employees, schools, and health-care providers until she approved hundreds of millions of dollars in budget cuts.

On the March 2 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh claimed that Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, whom President Obama has selected to be secretary of health and human services, "at one point was refusing to send out money that Kansas taxpayers had overpaid." Limbaugh added that Sebelius had been "withholding taxpayer refund checks" and that she had "sat on Kansas taxpayers' money and refused to send them their refunds." In fact, after Kansas halted payments in February on $12 million in tax returns due to budget shortfalls, Republicans in the state legislature reportedly refused to approve Sebelius' proposal to transfer money between state accounts in order to pay tax refunds, state employees, schools, and health-care providers until she approved hundreds of millions of dollars in budget cuts.

According to The Wichita Eagle, Kansas halted payments on tax rebates on February 13 because the state was, in the words of state budget director Duane Goodman, "out of cash, in essence." On February 16, according to the Eagle, "Republicans, who hold majorities in both chambers, blocked Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' proposal to borrow $225 million from healthy state funds to cover shortages in accounts used to meet the state's payroll and issue tax refunds." The Eagle further reported that "GOP leaders said they won't approve the IOUs until Sebelius either cuts the current budget herself or signs the bill they passed last week slashing $326 million -- including $32 million for education -- to balance the budget." The paper reported on February 18 that the "standoff that halted state tax refunds and threatened to delay state paychecks ended Tuesday when Gov. Kathleen Sebelius approved $300 million in budget cuts sought by Republican legislators."

Additionally, the Eagle reported on May 3, 2003, that Republicans in the state legislature proposed balancing the budget by delaying tax refunds, which Sebelius vowed to veto (retrieved from the Nexis database):

A Republican plan to delay tax refunds to help balance the state's $4.3 billion budget cleared the House and the Senate on Friday, despite Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' statements that she would veto it.

The move increases the likelihood that lawmakers will be called back into a special session, a Sebelius aide said.

The refund delay was included in both chambers' version of the session's final budget bill. The budget will not balance if Sebelius deletes the refund delay with a line-item veto.

While The Topeka Captial-Journal reported that the subsequent fiscal year 2004 compromise budget gave "Sebelius two options to help balance the state budget


either delay about $50 million in tax refunds or speed up property tax collections," Sebelius, who "consistently said she wouldn't delay tax refunds," chose to speed up property-tax collections instead of delaying tax refunds.

From the March 2 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: Ladies and gentlemen, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is tanking even further -- now down 255. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting, NASDAQ's down 47 to 50, while the president of the United States -- with a teleprompter -- introduces Kathleen Sebelius, the governor of Kansas, as the new Health and Human Services director -- secretary.

Remember, Kathleen Sebelius at one point was refusing to send out money that Kansas taxpayers had overpaid. She was withholding taxpayer refund checks, and now she's been appointed to serve in the Obama Cabinet. So while the economy and the stock market are tanking, Obama has plucked a governor from Kansas who sat on Kansas taxpayers' money and refused to send them their refunds. This is a man who's really for economic recovery, right?

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