The two-year state budget proposed last week by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback contains $6.08 billion in general fund spending in fiscal 2014 with a rebound to $6.15 billion in 2015. The spending plan for the next fiscal year is more than $100 million less than in fiscal 2013.
The state should realize a 7.5% ending balance each year, Brownback said, or about $450 million.
“The Kansas economy is growing,” the Republican governor said. “My budgets are crafted to bring long-term budget stability and economic prosperity through significant reform while maintaining the state’s core responsibilities.”
Revenue would go up by $541 million in fiscal 2014. An extension of a sales tax set to expire at the end of June would bring in $262 million and another $116 million would be realized by ending transfers out of the general fund to other uses.
Elimination of the state income-tax exemption for mortgage interest would raise $163 million.
The spending plan would take $97 million from the highway fund to pay for public school transportation costs, and shift $38 million of gambling revenue that now goes into the general fund to the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System.
The proposed budget does not do enough to increase the state’s per-student funding for local education, according to Annie McKay, executive director of the Kansas Center for Economic Growth.
“It puts a priority on tax breaks for the wealthiest in our state, eliminates essential tax credits, and includes damaging cuts to things that provide a foundation for our state’s economy, including our schools,” she said.