Governor hints more budget cuts are ahead

TOPEKA – More cuts to state government could be possible before the end of the year if revenue numbers scheduled to be released are as bad as anticipated.

Wednesday, Gov. Mark Parkinson, a Democrat, promised that the current budget would be balanced when the Republican-lead Legislature returns to Topeka in January.

“I’m going to take all the heat,” Parkinson said during a news conference in the Capitol.

Current estimates project a more than $100 million shortfall for the 2010 budget, which started July 1. The dollar amount could grow depending on what the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group says next week.

Kansas has seen four rounds of spending reductions this year from its $13 billion annual budget.

Next Thursday, revenue estimators will release their projections of the amount of money Kansas is expected to have to operate. Any cuts to the current budget and next year’s budget, which lawmakers will hammer out during the session, will be based on those figures.

Parkinson would not say how he planned to balance the budget but a likely option would be  cuts to state agencies.

Any decisions would be made with input from legislative leaders, Parkinson said.