Opinion Columns & Blogs

State budget needs adequate reserve fund

Gov. Sam Brownback is correct in urging lawmakers to build an adequate reserve fund into next year’s budget. “I’m pushing that it not only balance but that it have a healthy ending balance,” he told reporters last week. State law, which lawmakers routinely ignore, requires an ending balance of 7.5 percent of expenditures, or about $475 million. That likely would be too difficult to achieve next fiscal year, given the state’s revenue problems. The budget that the Kansas Senate approved last week needs $141 million in additional revenue just to get to zero. Adding the required ending balance would put the shortfall at more than $600 million. But the past two years have shown the importance of having an adequate reserve fund, as it is what has kept the state’s budget afloat. – Phillip Brownlee