Kansas Budget Woes Have Lawmakers Wanting Greater Oversight

With Republican Gov. Sam Brownback for now refusing to say how he’ll keep Kansas’ budget balanced, some GOP lawmakers are promising more aggressive oversight.

Some even want to challenge the governor’s longstanding control over annual spending blueprints.

Senate President Susan Wagle outlined a proposal this week to give lawmakers a bigger role as internal documents from state agencies showed how they might reduce spending.

Some agencies’ potential cuts would eliminate programs that keep state prisons from becoming crowded or even hinder efforts to collect taxes.

Kansas has struggled to hit revenue targets and balance its budget since GOP legislators slashed personal income taxes in 2012 and 2013 at Brownback’s urging as an economic stimulus.

Monthly tax collections have fallen short of expectations 71 percent of the time since.