Goossen sees budget trouble ahead

No Kansan knows more about state budgeting than Duane Goossen, who served three governors as budget director and is now the Kansas Health Institute’s vice president for fiscal and health policy. And what does he make of the 2014-15 budget passed by the Legislature? He noted this year’s tax plan is a net tax increase of $777.1 million over five years and that the fiscal-year ending balance will be a healthy $515.6 million in 2014 but then steadily dissipate. “Policymakers have more work to do to create a stable financial outlook,” Goossen wrote on his blog for the institute. “The budget/tax plan now in place is only sustainable if future revenue collections exceed expectations and if new demands on spending – school finance lawsuit, Medicaid expansion, inflation, salary increases, etc. – are avoided.” Those are some huge “ifs.”