File photo

In the past few years, Kansans have become used to monthly revenue numbers in the red. Still, May's figures came as a shock. On the last (mostly ceremonial) day of the 2016 legislative session, state revenue officials announced Kansas had come up nearly $75 million short of projections. Both individual and corporate income tax collections fell short of the mark. 

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Estimates for Kansas tax collections were ratcheted down sharply Wednesday. The state’s projected revenues dropped by a quarter billion dollars over the next year-and-a-half. That leaves Kansas with a budget deficit, and Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is proposing plans for erasing the shortfall.

Kansas will need to find $140 million in the current fiscal year to get out of the red. Next fiscal year, which starts in July, will need another $151 million in cuts or new revenue. Brownback’s budget director, Shawn Sullivan, laid out three options for filling the hole.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Road contractors in Kansas are worried about their future business after the state Department of Transportation announced it was delaying the bids on some April resurfacing projects.

Kansas Contractors Association Vice President Bob Totten says some of his members began to hear about the delays on Monday from KDOT officials. While the projects don't officially go out for bid until next month, contractors typically hear about the projects 45 days before bidding to help them craft the bid or even decide if they want to bid on the project, says Totten.

Kyle Palmer / KCUR

Did Kansas lawmakers know about the state's controversial decision to lift the borrowing limit for the Department of Transportation? 

This PowerPoint slide seems to suggest they did, but lawmakers on both sides of the aisle along with transportation insiders whom KCUR has talked to all say they were surprised to see KDOT borrowing at record levels in December. 

U.S. Senate

  We’re nearing the end of this year’s legislative session in Washington, but things aren’t cooling off quite yet.

In the second part of Tuesday's Up to Date, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joins Steve Kraske to discuss the future of the farm bill, the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the recent House budget deal and what’s going on with John Boehner after his speech about the Tea Party to Republican lawmakers.


David Iliff/Wikimedia Commons

With the House of Representatives and the president once again butting heads over the federal budget, a government shutdown is looking more likely by the day.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, Bob Bixby of the Concord Coalition joins Steve Kraske to talk about the economy, the effect a shutdown could have on the country if Congress doesn’t pass a new budget and how the debt ceiling debate figures into the equation.


Theresa L Wysocki / Flickr--Creative Commons

So imagine you’ve got a budget for home improvements. You’ve pared it down to the bare bones. You know exactly how much you can afford and you won’t spend any more than that. Now cut that budget in half. What things do you leave behind? And what are your top priorities?

This exact situation is happening to the Missouri Department of Transportation. With their budget being slashed to just about half, MoDOT is preparing to enter maintenance mode.

The Missouri House has formally rejected the Senate version of the state budget, setting the stage for final negotiations over the state’s spending plan for next year.

ZTW1 / flickr

The Kansas City region has been recovering from the recession at a slightly faster clip than many other places across the country.

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, says that falling over the so-called fiscal cliff, the deep program cuts, and big tax increases set to hit January 1st wouldn’t be as dramatic as some people imagine.

U.S. Dept. of Defense

Governor Jay Nixon is in Afghanistan visiting members of the Missouri National Guard who won’t be home for the holidays.

Lawmakers in Missouri and Kansas wrap up their legislative sessions.  A study finds compared to 50 years ago more severe weather is hitting the Midwest.  It’s a daily digest of headlines from KCUR.

Courtesy of Missouri Department of Tourism

Despite a recent article in The Kansas City Star titled "Sting of recession fades for Kansas City art museums," the sting has not faded - and perhaps still burns - for newly terminated employees at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.

aepoc / flickr

A Kansas lottery ticket winner is helping the state's bottom line. The still-anonymous resident won a nearly $160 million jackpot in a lottery drawing last month.

Gregg @ dcscorpio.blogspot.com

He’s just returned from lengthy deliberations in the U.S. House of Representatives over next year's spending plan. But is Congress getting anywhere?

Renewing his push against "trickle-down economics" that he says has failed the nation in the past, President Obama just said the Republican budget plan passed by the House last week is so conservative and so focused on cutting taxes for the rich that it makes the GOP's mid-1990s Contract With America "look like the New Deal."

Library of Congress

Kansas City Mayor Sly James presented his vision for next year's city budget and a lot more.

Library of Congress

Kansas City, Missouri City Manager Troy Schulte’s recently proposed budget recommendations for 2012 include a number of cuts, most notably a reduction of more than 100 positions in the fire department. On Wednesday, Fire Chief Smokey Dyer told the City Council’s public safety committee that the proposed cuts would violate national fire safety standards.

See-ming Lee / Flickr

Governor Sam Brownback’s budget proposal would reinstate some funding for arts programs, but would do away with the Kansas Arts Commission. The Kansas Film Commission and Arts Commission would be combined to become the Kansas Creative Industries Commission.

The governor’s budget would provide $200,000 to the new organization. State Budget Director Steve Anderson says that money would be available for arts programs that create economic development.

The President's budget, which was made public yesterday, pegs $150 million for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. That's the Level 4 laboratory designed to test highly contagious pathogens and foreign animal diseases operated by the Department of Homeland Security. DHS awarded the $650 million project to K-State a couple of years ago.

Officials told reporters in a teleconference yesterday they were happy with the budget proposal.

KC Spending Cuts Pay Off In Strong Fund Balance

Jul 1, 2010

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City, Mo., finance department verified Wednesday that after two years of major spending cuts the city has money in the bank. And the mayor and council members immediately started talking about how much more the city should borrow.

The 34.2 million dollars the city has in its general fund today, day one of its new fiscal year, is about 8 percent of this year's budget. That's the largest balance in a decade, and the city's credit rating is also at its highest in ten years.

Jefferson City, Mo. – The House Budget Committee spent nearly four hours Wednesday night amending and voting on bills that make up the state budget.

Committee members only made it through about a third of the budget bills before calling it a night.

House Budget Chair Allen Icet says so far they've identified 65 million dollars that can be trimmed from various departments.

"None of these should affect any services or anything. For the most part, it was either lapse, or funding that would be considered excess," says Icet.

Kansas City, Mo. – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon says the recent news of significantly smaller than expected revenues will mean some challenging choices for the state. The governor says he and other lawmakers are considering a number of ways to deal with the problem.