DALLAS – Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, has ordered $123 million of budget adjustments after the latest revenue estimate for the next two fiscal years fell nearly $354 million.
Tax revenues for the current fiscal year that began July 1 were lowered by $159 million or 2.5% lower than the April estimate, according to the Kansas Division of the Budget and Kansas Legislative Research Department.
The revised estimate for fiscal year 2017 is $6.29 billion, which is $194.5 million, or 3%, below the previous estimate, according to a report from the agency.
The amount of total taxes is estimated to increase by 2.8% in FY 2017, following a 5.7% increase in FY 2016.
Budget director Shawn Sullivan said that lower expenditures on Medicaid, the pension system and bond debt would free $43 million, while $12 million would be found by sweeping money from state economic development funds. A transfer of $50 million from the Kansas Department of Transportation is also expected to help.
The cuts were necessitated by the fact that the state has exhausted its reserves, officials said.
Duane Goossen, former budget director under Brownback's predecessor, Democrat Kathleen Sibelius, said in a Nov. 4 report that the Kansas is in a "constant state of budget crisis."
"Kansas is a long, long way from financial health," Goossen wrote. "All of the state's energy goes to cutting back, downsizing, and trying to make a growing set of expenses fit within an anemic revenue stream, rather than investing in the future."