Lucky breaks with federal funds, pensions help Kansas budget

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s latest efforts to prevent a state budget deficit were assisted by a well-timed decision on health care funding from federal officials and better-than-expected news about teacher pensions.

The Republican governor’s administration outlined $63 million in budget adjustments last week. The changes capture savings from lower-than-anticipated spending, book favorable revisions in cost estimates, shift fee dollars into the state’s main bank account and tap additional federal dollars.

Brownback told The Associated Press that he sought to bolster the budget in ways that Kansas residents wouldn’t much notice. However, he’s facing some skepticism from a leading advocate of children’s programs and supporters of highway projects.

A look at the changes imposed by Brownback in the $15.4 billion budget for the fiscal year that began last month.