As the state’s finances continued their downward spiral this summer, conservative and moderate Republican legislative candidates alike expressed the hope that a much-touted efficiency study still could pay off. Though the audit by Alvarez and Marsal touted 100 recommendations worth $2 billion in savings over five years, changes worth only about $100 million were made for the fiscal year that began July 1, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported. Among other things, they establish a “performance-based budgeting” process, aim to reduce improper Medicaid payments, and affect debt collection and information technology. The study’s ideas about consolidating school district services and health plans pose political challenges. But there has to be more of value in the audit, which cost the state nearly $2.6 million. – Rhonda Holman
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