Kansas budget | KCUR

Kansas budget

Alex Smith / KCUR

Maybe it's a decision about which side of the state line to live on. Maybe it's public school versus private, or district versus charter. For some, there may not seem to be a choice in the matter at all. A range of issues factor into where Kansas City families send their kids to school; meanwhile, difficulty discerning myth from reality looms large. Our callers and guests help break it down.

Guests:

Andy Marso / KHI News Service

This week some very dire budget predictions came out of Topeka: In the next two years Kansas may come up $1 billion short of expenses.

But that’s in the future. Right now the state has to find $279 million.

When budget experts gathered Monday, school districts all across Kansas were watching closely.

They knew if the projected budget shortfall for the rest of this fiscal year was bad, they faced potential cuts in state funding.

Not next year but this year — money already budgeted would be lost.

State revenue forecasters said Monday that the state can expect hundreds of millions of budget dollars less than previously thought to fund schools, social programs and highway projects.

www.tradingacademy.com/ / OTA Photos, Flickr

The Kansas budget has been in the national spotlight ever since Governor Sam Brownback signed dramatic tax cuts into law in 2012. Over the past several months, tax revenue has been coming in at lower levels than the state projected. Not surprisingly, the two sides of the political spectrum view the resulting conundrum differently. 

Guests:

  • John Hanna, reporter, The Associated Press
  • David Trabert, Kansas Policy Institute
  • Duane Goossen, former Kansas budget director

KU Med To Lose 31 Student Slots In Kansas City

Jun 18, 2013

The University of Kansas is wrestling with how to cut $13.5 million from its budget over the next two years, but the funding reduction will not prompt the closing of the KU School of Medicine's campus in Salina

The KU Medical Center, which operates the school, will have to absorb more than $8 million in cuts. KU spokesman Jack Martin says closing the Salina campus, and scaling back operations in Wichita are no longer on the table.

The chair of the Kansas House Tax Committee is responding to claims from Democrats about the tax plan passed by the Legislature last weekend. The Republican-dominated Legislature passed a bill that will cut income tax rates, but will also keep the sales tax elevated and reduce income tax deductions.

The Chair of the state Democratic Party, former revenue secretary Joan Wagnon, says legislators broke their promise to let a temporary sales tax expire, and put a bigger burden on working Kansans, amounting to a more than $750 million tax increase.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas Lawmakers wrapped up the 2013 session in the early hours of Sunday morning, narrowly passing a budget that reduces spending through major cuts, particularly to higher education.

The biggest responsibility lawmakers have every year is to pass a state budget. It was questionable whether this proposal could pass the House. The chamber’s leadership was putting pressure on Republicans to pass the budget, saying if they didn’t pass one over the weekend the state could miss payments, like a payment for state worker health insurance.

Kansas Legislature

Kansas lawmakers return to Topeka Tuesday to dive back into the contentious debate over budget and tax bills.

State Representatives and Senators were quoted  using words like “dumbfounded” to express  frustration that they can’t agree on either a budget or tax bill.  Lawmakers had planned to wrap up the legislative in 80-days instead of the mandated 90-days.  Instead, the session has run long like it has in most recent years.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback visited the University of Kansas campus yesterday, where he met with school officials and student leaders as part of a tour promoting higher education in the state.

Brownback called KU a "great innovation institution" and highlighted its role in the Kansas economy.

“We’ve really got some momentum moving forward in job creation off of our universities, providing excellence in education, which is a primary issue for us, and we want to keep that momentum growing,” said Brownback.

Wikimedia Commons - CC

The Kansas House and Senate have passed their versions of both budget and tax plans, but there's still plenty of work ahead. The two chambers will now try to smooth out differences between the plans.

Kansas Senate Could Cut Governor's Budget

Mar 4, 2013
Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Leaders in the Kansas Senate say they'll likely pursue cuts to the budget recommended by Governor Sam Brownback.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has proposed more income tax cuts in Kansas over the coming years. And to help pay for that, he wants to make permanent part of a temporary sales tax increase that is set to expire later this year. He's also suggested eliminating some tax deductions, like the home mortgage deduction.

There is now a conservative majority in both the House and Senate, and some lawmakers may try to find additional cuts to state spending instead of using the sales tax and tax deductions to help pay for an income tax cut.

Kansas lawmakers working on a tax-cutting plan say they’ll tweak the proposal to avoid long-term budget deficits.

The Kansas City Council delays voting on a daytime curfew.  MoDOT considers expanding rail service. Missouri Senators battle over education funding.  That and more news from KCUR.

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