Kansas’ uncertain state finances weighs on some lawmakers

Repeated misses in Kansas’ monthly revenue projections has clouded the state’s ability to balance budgets, and some lawmakers are thinking the process could use reform.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s latest spending plan unveiled days ago for the fiscal year that begins in July projects a $190 million hole. He believes that can be patched by such things as juggling state funds and selling off assets of the privatization-bound Kansas Bioscience Authority.

Kansas has struggled to balance its budget since the Legislature got on board with Brownback’s plan to slash personal income taxes in 2012 and 2013 in hopes of stoking the economy.

But since then, the state’s month-to-month revenue estimates have been volatile.

Republican Sen. Jeff Melcher of Leawood wonders whether it’s time to get outside help with financial modeling.