TOPEKA, Kansas – New budget projections from the Kansas Legislature’s nonpartisan research staff show a state budget shortfall developing by July 2016.
The projections released Friday by the Legislative Research Department also show a lower figure for the state’s cash reserves on June 30 than Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration reported last month.
The non-partisan legislative research department says the state actually has just under 380 million dollars in reserves, about $55 million lower than the state’s last projections of $435 million.
That $380 million figure would be enough to cover a budget deficit next year but it only leaves about 30 million in reserves.
By July 2016, they project a $238 million dollar shortfall.
The department also said the state’s cash reserves on June 30 were $380 million, not the nearly $435 million Brownback’s administration reported. The department factored in bills that were still pending on June 30.
The Governor’s Office released this statement today saying:
“When Governor Brownback came into office, there was less than a thousand dollars in the bank and a projected $500 million dollar deficit. We are paying our bills on time and in full. Unlike previous administrations, we are funding education, protecting core functions, prioritizing programs and have $434 million dollars cash on hand at the end of the fiscal year.”
Some lawmakers are concerned about what lies ahead.
“When the huge tax cut for the rich corporations passed, we said, not just Democrats, but many economic projectors said this is going to cause you great problems in the next few years, and the chickens are coming home to roost,” said State Representative Jim Ward.
“The public schools have taken a terrible beating in the last four years, and this stays that way unless things change. They’re going to take another beating next year. Whoever the governor is has a terrible fiscal crisis facing Kansas in January,” said Ward.