Kansas budget

Pictures of Money / Flickr Creative Commons

A major financial rating agency says a structural imbalance in Kansas' budget is "likely to persist" even after the state increased income taxes.

S&P Global Ratings said in a report this week that while the state boosted its revenues, it also increased spending for the next two years. S&P also said the state still is diverting money from highway projects to sustain other spending and is not fully funding contributions to public pensions.

S&P did not change its negative credit outlook for Kansas.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Kansas lawmakers met briefly Monday for the ceremonial end of the legislative session. They considered overriding some vetoes issued by Gov. Sam Brownback, but ultimately took no action.

Kansas News Service/File photo

Gov. Sam Brownback denounced the level of spending in the Kansas budget, but he still chose to sign the bill into law over the weekend.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Gov. Sam Brownback has until Sunday to take action on the Kansas budget approved by lawmakers. His decisions could prompt action on the ceremonial last day of the legislative session.

It’s likely Brownback will sign the budget, but he can block specific items with his line item veto power. Lawmakers also have the power to override those decisions with a two-thirds vote.

Democratic Sen. Anthony Hensley says some line item vetoes could draw override attempts. Those would come on the ceremonial last day of the session, which is Monday.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

It took 113 days instead of the scheduled 100, but Kansas lawmakers finally ended their 2017 session Saturday.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Negotiators from the Kansas House and Senate are meeting Friday to hammer out a budget compromise. There are significant differences in the House and Senate plans when it comes to state employee raises.

The Senate budget gives most state workers a 2 percent raise. The House plan includes fewer raises that are targeted, including pay hikes for the judicial branch.

Republican Rep. Troy Waymaster says some House members are concerned about the cost of the Senate proposal.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

The Kansas House and Senate worked into the night Thursday on a state budget, just two days after voting to scuttle Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax policies amid a projected $900 million shortfall over the next two years.

Negotiators from both chambers launched into evening talks shortly after the House passed a multiyear spending plan that differs from the Senate’s on key points such as pay raises for state employees.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

House and Senate leaders had told Kansas lawmakers to be ready to work over the weekend, but Friday they decided to head home, putting off tax and budget work until next week.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

A panel of Kansas officials has boosted the forecast for the state’s tax collections. They raised the revenue projection by almost $160 million.

That puts a dent in the Kansas budget deficit. After accounting for the new money, the state still faces a shortfall of around $900 million over the coming two fiscal years.

“There certainly remain big challenges for legislators and us between now and when the session ends,” said Shawn Sullivan, Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget director.

However, Sullivan added that "up is better than down."

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas will use $291 million in internal government borrowing to avoid a deficit in its current budget and pay bills on time through June.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed the budget bill into law Tuesday. The measure allows the state to avoid short-term cuts in aid to public schools, social services and other programs.

The state plans to liquidate a special investment fund and loan most of the proceeds to its main bank account to cover general spending before the fiscal year ends on June 30. The loan would be paid back over seven years.

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