Opinion Columns & Blogs

State budget still hanging on by fingernails

“There’s no more potent illustration of the failure of the 2012 tax policy changes than to see 21 senators and 63 representatives, including many staunch anti-tax lawmakers, vote for new taxes while attempting to halt a budget crisis brought on by falling revenue,” former state budget director Duane Goossen wrote. “Trouble is, even after pairing the just-passed tax increase with cut-back expenses, Kansas still hangs on financially by the fingernails.” The state budget is still structurally unbalanced, as it relies on nearly $240 million in transfers from the state highway fund and other funds, and not all of the new tax revenue may materialize, Goossen said. Also, the state will need to significantly increase funding to K-12 schools. – Phillip Brownlee