Kansas' Graves: 'Tween a rock and a hard place

| 6/14/2002

While many elected officials are reluctant to sign off on tax hikes they know will be unpopular with constituents and voters, Kansas Governor Bill Graves must be especially anxious about his current predicament as the state's chief executive officer.

The governor recently signed legislation boosting the state's fuel tax on gasoline and diesel fuel by 2 cents per gallon, as well as legislation increasing registration fees by $2 to $10 per vehicle. Gov. Graves also signed legislation increasing the statewide sales tax from 4.9 percent to 5.33 percent.

Even with the new tax revenues, state spending is expected to be down on transportation by $146 million for FY2003.

After Gov. Graves' term expires in November, he is expected to take the helm as president of the American Trucking Associations. While the hiring took place sometime back, imagine if it were occurring today and the interviewer asked what the governor had done in his previous job.

-- Todd Spencer, LL editor-in-chief