Cutting state spending more would be costly

State income tax cuts are projected to result in large budget shortfalls in coming years. Cutting state spending to cover this gap wouldn’t be easy – especially when costs of major budget items, such as education and Medicaid, are expected to increase. K-12 education (49.8 percent of the state general fund budget), post-secondary education (12.6 percent), Medicaid (19.8 percent) and other human services (6.9 percent) represent 89.1 percent of state spending, noted Duane Goossen, a former state budget director and vice president for fiscal and health policy at the Kansas Health Institute. “Clearly, education and human services represent such a large part of the SGF that it’s impossible to make significant budget changes without affecting these areas,” Goossen said.