Kansas legislative committees are reviewing a plan to fill a gap in the current fiscal year’s budget. House members plan to debate and possibly amend the bill in committee starting tomorrow (THUR). Budget Director Shawn Sullivan says lawmakers need to act quickly. If they don't, Sullivan says the state will run into problems paying its bills as early as next month.
“There’s $45 million in school payments that go out February 17th. There’s another $130 million in school payments that go out the last couple days of February. That’s what we’re running against now,” says Sullivan.
The proposal would delay some payments to schools until June. The plan also cuts overall state spending and transfers money from the state highway fund and state pension plan to help fill the budget hole.
A committee in the Kansas House is scheduled to begin debating and modifying Governor Sam Brownback's plan to fill a budget hole in the current fiscal year. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, they start that work today (THUR) with a deadline looming in the future.
Budget Director Shawn Sullivan says they will need to work fast for Kansas to be able to pay all its bills.
“Cash flow gets tight by the middle of February. There’s $45 million in school payments that go out February 17th. There’s another $130 million in school payments that go out in the last couple days of February,” says Sullivan.
The plan delays a payment to schools. It also cuts agency budgets and diverts money from the state highway fund and state pension plan to help erase a shortfall.
House Appropriations Committee chair, Republican Ron Ryckman, sounded confident they can meet the deadline.
“Probably one thing this group will all agree on, there's something in this we don’t like. The other thing we will agree on, that we are going to solve a problem, we’re going to pay our bills and we’re going to pay them on time,” says Ryckman.
He hopes to pass a bill out of committee by Monday.