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Kansas Democrats Doubt GOP Can Sustain New Spending

Associated Press - January 16, 2014 8:02 pm

A monthly survey of bankers suggests the economy will remain weak in rural parts of 10 Midwestern and Western states because of low grain and oil prices.

A monthly survey of bankers suggests the economy will remain weak in rural parts of 10 Midwestern and Western states because of low grain and oil prices.

Democrats don’t believe Kansas can sustain new spending proposed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback because of massive personal income tax cuts previously enacted at his urging.

Brownback on Thursday outlined proposed changes in the state’s budget for its current fiscal year and the fiscal year beginning July 1. Most of the spending for those two years was approved in 2013.

The Legislature’s research staff projects that under the governor’s proposals, a budget shortfall will emerge by mid-2017, and the state would need to cut $921 million over three years to avoid deficits.

Democrats cited those numbers in arguing that the state can’t afford the governor’s budget proposals and the tax cuts.

But Brownback spokeswoman Eileen Hawley said the governor is confident that economic growth will sustain core government services.

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