Kansas budget

On Tuesday, Gov. Sam Brownback ordered state budget reductions in response to lower-than-expected tax collections. That included a 3 percent, or about $17 million, cut to higher education in Kansas that will take place over the next four months.

Stephen Koranda

Tax collections in Kansas were more than $50 million short of estimates last month. That puts the state back into a budget deficit. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, the numbers prompted the governor to announce a cut to university budgets.

Kansas came up short on individual income, corporate income and sales tax collections.

Stephen Koranda

This week, Kansas lawmakers approved a budget and sent it to the governor, but that doesn’t mean their budget work is done.

The spending plan eliminated a projected deficit, but doesn’t leave the state with much money.

Republican Rep. Ron Ryckman says they’ll be studying efficiency recommendations they hope can help build the savings account starting next year.

Christopher Sessums, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas lawmakers have approved a budget bill that balances on paper. But as Jim McLean reports from the Statehouse, it doesn’t yet include the money the Kansas Supreme Court says needs to be added for public schools.

The budget bill on its way to Gov. Sam Brownback uses a variety of transfers and accounting maneuvers to cover anticipated spending for the rest of the current budget year and the next one, which starts on July 1.

Stephen Koranda

The Kansas House has approved a plan for eliminating a projected deficit of nearly $200 million in the state's next budget.

The vote Wednesday was 68-53 on a compromise bill drafted by negotiators for the House and Senate to reconcile differences between the two chambers.

The Senate could vote on the plan as early as Thursday, and its approval would send the measure to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

Kansas legislative negotiators have agreed on the details of a plan for balancing the state's next budget.

The plan drafted Monday by three senators and three House members would eliminate a deficit of nearly $200 million in the state's $16.1 billion budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. It would do so mostly by juggling funds.

Stephen Koranda

The Kansas House has approved a bill that would erase a shortfall in the next state budget, and the Senate is preparing to debate its own budget-balancing plan.

The House vote on its bill Thursday was 68-56. It came after Democratic Rep. Jim Ward of Wichita sought unsuccessfully to delay action because of a Kansas Supreme Court ruling on education funding.

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.