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
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