Governor’s policies have put Kansas on path to budget crisis

By State Senator Anthony Hensley

022414-hensley_anthonyI have served in the Kansas Legislature for 38 years and under eight different governors. I have never seen a governor release their budget without a five-year ending balance projection like Governor Brownback did this year. When the non-partisan, unbiased Kansas Legislative Research Department did release a five-year projection, it became very obvious why Brownback didn’t release one.

The first two years of the projection are okay. There is money in the bank that has built up slowly as a result of a bi-partisan coalition who made nearly $1 billion in budget cuts in 2010 before Brownback took office and as we’ve recovered from the recession. This will allow us to stay in the black for the next two fiscal years.

The remaining three years in the projection have us in the red. Kansas is facing a $923 million deficit by Fiscal Year 2019, which begins July 1, 2018.

Brownback’s cuts to income taxes have significantly cut revenue for the state. He has put us on the path to a self-inflicted budget crisis. To get to a 0-percent ending balance, more cuts will have to be made to a bare bones budget that already cannot support adequate funding for K-12 education, higher education, public safety or essential services.

Governor Brownback calls himself a fiscal conservative, but he’s far from it with building these enormous deficits.

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