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LaTurner: State Debt Too High; Kansas 18th Highest in U.S.

State Treasurer Jake LaTurner is calling on lawmakers to be fiscally responsible this session.

“We have too much debt,” said LaTurner Wednesday. “We’re enjoying services today across the state of Kansas that we’re going to be asking our great-grandchildren to pay for. I think policymakers should be mindful of that debt as they make decisions this legislative session.”

LaTurner’s office sees all the debts incurred by not only the state as a whole, but individual governing units within the state, as well, but it’s the state debt that the legislature has control over.

“We are $1554 per capita with state debt,” said LaTurner. “If you look at our surrounding states, Missouri’s at $532, Oklahoma is at $300, Iowa at $200 and Nebraska is at $20 per capita. Kansas is really high. We’re the 18th highest in the nation when you talk about state debt.”

The amount of state indebtedness is just a fraction of the debt that all governments carry in Kansas.

“We are over $5 billion in debt as a state,” said LaTurner. “When you include the counties in this, which includes the cities and the schools and everyone, we’re talking about $25 billion in debt. We just need to start thinking about this and making sure that we are not burdening future generations.”

There is a new online tool where you can dig down and find out what is owed where you are. It’s at kansasstatetreasurer.com/indebtedness.

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