It is understandable why Gov. Sam Brownback proposed covering the state’s budget shortfall this fiscal year mostly through fund transfers. Cutting $279 million in spending would be extremely difficult and damaging, given that the state’s fiscal year is nearly half over. The problem with relying on one-time transfers, however, is that it makes next fiscal year’s shortfall worse. According to legislative researchers, Brownback’s proposal would cause next year’s shortfall to increase from $436 million to $648 million. And that’s just to get to zero. Restoring the state’s statutorily required ending balance would increase the budget gap next year to about $1.1 billion. – Phillip Brownlee
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