State Authorizes Record Debt

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and legislative leaders have authorized a record $900 million in temporary borrowing to cover the state’s expenses through June 2017.

Brownback and the leaders met Wednesday as the State Finance Council and voted 8-1 to loan the state’s main bank account the money from other, idle funds. It’s a move the state has used repeatedly to cover bills when cash is projected to be tight.

The vote was 8-1. The only dissenting vote came from Senate President Susan Wagle, a Wichita Republican.

The vote came after Budget Director Shawn Sullivan said the state likely would have to divert transportation funds and Medicaid fee funds and delay payments to school districts until next month to avoid a projected short-term deficit of $45 million on June 30.