state budget

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

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.

Bryan Thompson / Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas lawmakers today will hear updates on an efficiency study of state government spending.

Kansas lawmakers commissioned the report last year. Republican House Speaker Ray Merrick says he’s looking forward to hearing the suggestions and possible enacting some.

“It may be a lot of stuff in it that we need to really drill down on, and I think everybody’s going to be surprised at the amount of money we’re talking about,” Merrick says.

Kansas Highway Patrol

Gov. Sam Brownback will deliver his sixth State of the State address this evening in Topeka.

He’ll be laying the groundwork for this year’s legislative session. The state is facing a massive budget shortfall for the next fiscal year--but the Kansas Highway Patrol is already asking for a spending increase.

The Kansas Highway Patrol is asking lawmakers to increase the vehicle title fee to pay for more troopers.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Kansas Lawmakers gaveled in today to officially start the 2016 legislative session. Republican House Speaker Ray Merrick says filling a budget hole is his top priority.

Last year was a record-long session focused on tax policy, and Merrick says he does not want a repeat of that.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas officials Friday lowered the state’s estimated tax collections by $160 million for the current year. That puts the state into a nearly $120 million budget deficit.

In response, Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget director, Shawn Sullivan, unveiled a series of spending adjustments to cover the shortfall. The plan takes $50 million from the state highway fund. It also relies on unexpected savings and money shifted away from the Kansas Bioscience Authority and other areas.

Sean Sandefur file photo

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's office is working to determine when it would have to inform state workers they would be furloughed if a budget is not passed on time, the governor's spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The Legislature already is in overtime on its 90-day session, with Wednesday being its 97th day, and has yet to pass a balanced budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. Spokeswoman Sara Belfry said the governor's office is working with several agencies to "determine the last possible date" the budget would need to be passed in order to avoid payroll disruptions.

Bugsy, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas House members will debate a bill Tuesday that aims to eliminate a projected shortfall of more than $330 million dollars in the state's current budget.

The bill would mostly divert highway funds and shift other funds around to patch holes in the funding for general government programs.

The shortfall is in the state's main bank account.

The state's budget problems arose after lawmakers aggressively cut personal income taxes in 2012 and 2013, at Gov. Sam Brownback's urging, to stimulate the economy.

The current budget runs through June.

Governor Sam Brownback isn't publicly ruling out any ideas for helping to close state budget shortfalls.

State officials and lawmakers are speculating about the proposals he's expected to roll out before the Legislature convenes next month.

Governor Brownback's administration is working on a plan to close combined shortfalls of more than $700 million dollars in the current and next state budgets.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

A new revenue forecast shows Kansas needs to cut $279 million dollars to balance the current fiscal year's budget.

A $436 million-dollar deficit is ahead for the coming fiscal year.

Governor Sam Brownback says tax cuts he pushed would cause lower collections in the short term, but the revenues will rebound as the state's economy grows.

The governor's budget director, Shawn Sullivan, agrees.

State lawmakers have drafted a budget deal that includes a bonus for state workers.

Three senators and three House members agreed Thursday on budget legislation. They shook a gloomy state revenue report and ignored that the state’s bond rating has been downgraded by Moody’s Investor Services.

The proposal now includes $11 million dollars to give the state’s nearly 38,000 state employees a one-time, $250 bonus.

The budget agreement also preserves guaranteed longevity bonuses for employees with at least 10 years in state government.

Pages