A new budget report shows Kansas is facing a deficit of around $20 million. But as Stephen Koranda reports, it doesn’t appear the new information will prompt any immediate budget cutting.
Governor Sam Brownback has the authority to cut Kansas spending when needed to balance the budget. When asked if the new information would prompt any budget decisions, spokesperson Eileen Hawley would only say that Brownback will release his budget plan to lawmakers in January.
Senator Anthony Hensley, that chamber’s top Democrat, would like to see the governor balance the budget now. He says waiting until the session will offer challenges. For example, there will be many new lawmakers next year.
“We’ll have a whole lot of new people that will have to be brought up to speed in terms of the process. If we run what is typically called the rescission bill early in the session, there’s going to be a huge learning curve,” says Hensley.
Hensley says they’ll likely have to wait until later in the session to run a budget-balancing bill, which will be closer to the end of the fiscal year and could require deeper cuts.