A proposal in the Kansas House gives the governor the authority to delay payments to the state pension plan this year if Kansas runs into budget trouble. It would allow the state to delay its portion of the payments that go into the KPERS fund.
Republican Representative Gene Suellentrop says this gives the governor a temporary option to keep the state from running a deficit.
“In the ’17 budget it would need to be balanced and those payments would need to be replaced,” says Suellentrop.
Republican Representative Steven Johnson wonders if Kansas will be able to pay back any delayed payments.
“My concern is we had to do it last year, we’re saying we’ll pay it back next year. I’m not confident in our ability to pay it back next year looking at the revenues and budget situation that’s currently forecast,” says Johnson.
Johnson says the state has made progress in reducing a deficit in KPERS, the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. He says if payments are delayed, the long-term shortfall will grow.