Kansas budget

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

A Kansas House committee has advanced a spending bill that would balance the budget for the current fiscal year without making cuts to education. The House Appropriations Committee voted for a proposal similar to Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan, which would dissolve a state investment fund to close a more than $300 million budget gap.

Republican committee chairman Troy Waymaster calls it “the best of the bad options.” He says the alternative is cutting state services and education, which would be hard to absorb.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

A tax and budget debate fizzled in the Kansas Senate Thursday, before it had even started. As Stephen Koranda reports, the situation reveals just how divided lawmakers have become as they work to solve the state's budget crisis.

Susie Fagan / Kansas News Service

One of the cornerstones of Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan to balance the budget is anticipated savings from a statewide health insurance pool for Kansas teachers.

The governor said that could save $40 million in the fiscal year that starts July 1 and $80 million a year after that.

But that’s not what the Legislative Post Audit Division discovered in its evaluation.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

A Kansas Senate committee started discussions on a bill Monday that would repeal a key piece of the 2012 tax cuts and raise personal income tax rates. A committee vote on the plan could come as soon as Tuesday.

Meg Wingerter / Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas’ two state-run psychiatric hospitals would lose nearly $20 million under the budget proposed by Gov. Sam Brownback.

In the current fiscal year, Osawatomie and Larned state hospitals are relying on state funds to make up for the loss of federal funding. Brownback’s recommendations for the fiscal year that starts in July would end that practice, leaving it to the hospitals to make up the lost revenue.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Lawmakers in the Kansas House are considering Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan to help fill a budget hole by dissolving a state investment fund holding more than $300 million.

The proposal would pay back the money over seven years, but some legislators are skeptical they will make the payments.

Democratic Rep. Tom Burroughs says they delayed a payment to KPERS, the state pension plan, with the promise to pay it back. So far, that hasn’t happened.

wichita.edu

New figures from the Kansas Board of Regents spell out just how much each university, community college and technical college would lose if the Legislature chooses to cut its way to a balanced budget this year.

And it's a lot of money.

In total, all 37 institutions would lose out on a combined $52,546,469 dollars if lawmakers enact an across-the-board 6.95 percent cut.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas lawmakers are working to fill a $350 million budget hole in the current fiscal year that ends in June.

Members of a House committee wanted to know what it would take to erase the deficit using only spending cuts. A legislative report says state agencies would see a 7 percent budget reduction.

Republican Rep. Erin Davis requested the info. She says she’s not advocating for cutting Kansas spending, but she wanted to see what the option would look like.

Kansas News Service

The Kansas legislative session is not yet two weeks old, but there are already signs of the change that many voters called for in the recent elections.

New legislative leadership and an aggressive group of newcomers are pushing back against many of Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget proposals, which they say won’t fix structural problems with the state budget.

Message From Voters

From the earliest days of the campaign season, it was evident that many voters were frustrated about the “budget mess” in Topeka.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Lawmakers in a Kansas House committee are considering Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan to liquidate state investments to fill a budget hole.

The proposal would basically drain the investment fund of more than $300 million and pay that back over seven years, with interest.

Brownback's budget director, Shawn Sullivan, told the House Appropriations Committee that the choices may be this or budget cuts.

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