Kansas faces budget shortfalls for fiscal 2016 and 2017, with tax receipts failing to live up to even downsized estimates month after month. House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, this week blamed at least the lower-than-expected sales tax revenue in December on “a national economy that continues to struggle under President Obama.” But at least some states are in the money these days. Among the budget surpluses variously fueling talk of increased investment and tax cuts: North Carolina’s $450 million, Maryland’s $500 million, Florida’s $635 million, Michigan’s $700 million, Minnesota’s $1.9 billion and California’s $10 billion. During 2015, more than 40 states reported revenue collections at or above projected levels. – Rhonda Holman
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