Another side to state budget improvements

brownbackofficialmugGov. Sam Brownback cited some real and impressive improvements in the state’s fiscal health during his term in his State of the State address Wednesday night, including the turnaround from a $876 ending balance in fiscal 2010 and the decline in the unemployment rate from 6.9 to 5.1 percent. But as our Thursday editorial notes, he didn’t mention the severe spending cuts that enabled him to replenish the state’s reserves. Nor did he own up to the widespread budget problems he and his allies in the Legislature have helped create for prisons, K-12 schools, courts, state universities, social services and local governments across the state. And it’s premature at best to take credit for the state’s economic rebound, especially when Kansas compares unfavorably with many other states’ recoveries and the most drastic effects of the 2012-13 tax slashing are yet to come.