Opinion Columns & Blogs

Report shows Kansas’ fiscal health slipping

The Wichita Eagle

Kansas came in 27th in a new “Ranking the States by Fiscal Condition” report by the Koch-funded Mercatus Center at George Mason University, down from 24th last year. “On a cash basis, Kansas has between 1.24 and 2.22 times the cash needed to cover short-term liabilities,” researchers said. “Revenues exceed expenses by 1 percent, producing a surplus of $27 per capita. On a long-run basis, net assets are 12 percent of total assets, and total liabilities account for 23 percent of total assets.” According to the report, which uses fiscal year 2014 data, Kansas’ total debt is $3.96 billion and its unfunded pension liabilities are nearly $34 billion. Combined with $261 million in other postemployment benefits, “these three liabilities are equal to 29 percent of total state personal income.” Neighboring Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri and Colorado ranked second, eighth, 14th and 22nd, respectively. – Rhonda Holman