Opinion Columns & Blogs

Unlike other states, Kansas has no reserves

Brownback administration officials are quick to point out that a number of other states are also facing budget shortfalls. What they don’t mention is that most states have budget reserves that can help them weather downturns and pay for unexpected expenses. In fact, a new study by Pew Charitable Trusts found that the average state has about 29.2 days worth of reserve funds. Kansas, in contrast, blew through its ending balance reserves trying to make up for revenue lost by state tax cuts. As a result, it ended last fiscal year with only $35 million in reserves, which would last only two days, according to the report. Since then, the state has continued to miss its monthly revenue estimates, and that small reserve is already gone. – Phillip Brownlee