Kan. Court Efficiency Group Looks At How To Fill Budget Gap

Oct 7, 2013

The Kansas court system is facing a multi-million dollar deficit next fiscal year. An advisory group formed to help bridge that gap is meeting for the first time Monday in Topeka.

Lawmakers passed a two-year budget for the state, and the problems with the court system come into play in the second year. The head of the efficiency group, Appeals Court Judge Karen Arnold-Burger, says lawmakers used reserves and some other steps to fill a court budget deficit in the current fiscal year. But now those reserves are gone, so that leads to the deficit for the courts in the coming fiscal year.

Judge Arnold-Burger says she hopes lawmakers will fix the issue, but the court needs to have a contingency plan.

"I think this is just responsible fiscal planning, to try to have a plan in place, in case the Legislature does not, or is not able to make up that deficit,” says Arnold-Bunger.

Senate Vice President Jeff King said in a letter to the group that he’s confident the Legislature will look into the funding issue.