Kansas will need more cash, cuts or both

Duane Goossen, former longtime state budget director, warned that the state’s “current spending levels dramatically exceed expected income.” On his blog for the Kansas Health Institute, Goossen noted that state general fund spending approved for fiscal year 2013 is nearly $6.2 billion, while the estimated revenue for fiscal 2014 is only $5.4 billion. He also said the fiscal 2014 budgets proposed by the governor, Senate and House variously rob highway money and cut higher education and courts but still don’t get to even $6.1 billion. “The inability to close the gap with spending cuts suggests the solution must be increased revenue,” Goossen wrote, saying the governor and lawmakers could “transfer money from other funds,” “use up the available bank balance” and “add tax revenue.” They also can hope Friday’s updated revenue estimates will narrow the budget gap, he wrote.