Kansas budget

Stephen Koranda

A proposal in the Kansas House gives the governor the authority to delay payments to the state pension plan this year if Kansas runs into budget trouble.

Republican Rep. Gene Suellentrop says this gives the governor a temporary option to keep the state from running a deficit.

“In the ’17 budget it would need to be balanced and those payments would need to be replaced,” Suellentrop says.

Republican Rep. Steven Johnson wonders if Kansas will be able to pay back any delayed payments.

Ervins Strauhmanis, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas tax collections came in nearly $7 million below estimates last month, despite some bright spots in the January report.

Kansas individual income tax collections came in $8 million higher than expected, but corporate income tax collections were well below the estimate and sales tax receipts also came up short. Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan says weak oil, aviation and agriculture industries are hurting tax collections.

Ervins Strauhmanis, flickr Creative Commons

A new efficiency report includes more than 100 recommendations that could save the state more than $2 billion over five years.

Workers from the company Alvarez and Marsal released their preliminary findings to lawmakers Tuesday. Suggestions for improving efficiency and performance range from hiring more workers in the Department of Revenue to eliminating some health insurance options for state employees.

Bryan Thompson

This year was a memorable one for Kansas state government. Lawmakers tangled over a variety of issues during the longest Kansas legislative session in history. To wrap up 2015, KPR’s Stephen Koranda looks back at a few of the most high-profile events at the Statehouse this year.

It was supposed to be a 90-day session, but Kansas lawmakers worked on tax and budget issues for a record 114 days. That was seven days longer than the previous record set back in 2002.

Bryan Thompson

As Kansas lawmakers prepare for the 2016 legislative session, Gov. Sam Brownback is preparing his annual budget message.

The governor will deliver his State of the State Address to the Kansas Legislature at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 12, in the House chamber. In accordance with Section 5 of Article 1 of the Kansas Constitution, the governor will provide lawmakers with information on the condition of the state.

Stephen Koranda file photo

The 2016 Kansas legislative session starts next month. KPR’s Stephen Koranda sat down to talk with Gov. Sam Brownback about his outlook on taxes, the budget and education.

Dave Ranney, Heartland Health Monitor

An advocacy group is saying that Gov. Sam Brownback’s latest plan to avert a budget deficit will hurt some of the state’s poorest children. Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean has more on concerns being raised by children’s advocates.

File photo

The head of the Kansas Sentencing Commission says he’s worried state budget cuts could hurt a program that helps some drug offenders avoid jail time.

The program lets some Kansas drug offenders go through treatment and supervision, which helps them avoid prison. The $6.5 million pays for treatment for more than 1600 offenders a year. Scott Schultz, with the Kansas Sentencing Commission, is concerned it could be targeted for budget cuts.

“I think we all know that there’s a storm brewing on the horizon,” Schultz says.

Stephen Koranda file photo / KPR

Gov. Sam Brownback doesn't plan to be present when his administration outlines $50 million in spending cuts to help Kansas avert a budget deficit.

Brownback spokeswoman Eileen Hawley confirmed Tuesday that the governor won't be in his office. Budget director Shawn Sullivan will outline the cuts during a news conference planned for Friday. Hawley declined to discuss the governor's planned whereabouts.

Sean Sandefur file photo

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a bill giving him more discretion in making some budget cuts during the next fiscal year while protecting aid to public schools.

The Republican governor signed the measure Tuesday. It will remain in effect only during the fiscal year that begins July 1.

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