Kansas Governor Sam Brownback's administration has made $63 million in changes to the Kansas budget. Much of that comes from efficiencies and capturing unspent state funding. Brownback’s budget director, Shawn Sullivan, outlined the plan in a Statehouse news conference.
The biggest single change comes from SCHIP, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. The federal government is offering a larger match to state dollars, so Kansas is using that money to offset state spending. Sullivan says they could have also used those dollars to increase services under the program.
Sullivan says he doesn’t expect any of the budget changes to lead to employee layoffs.
“What we tried to do was minimize the impact on services. When we’re doing that, we’re going to look for things, as a first order of business, where there’s money that wasn’t spent or where there’s excess balances,” says Sullivan.
The plan transfers $8 million from KDOT, which is available because of efficiencies and some lower-than-expected costs. Sullivan says it won’t affect the state’s 10-year transportation project, T-WORKS.
The state also captured savings from smaller-than-expected retirement costs for teachers in Kansas.
The budget changes will boost the state's savings account to help avert a deficit if tax collections come in lower projected.