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Archive for Tuesday, November 4, 2008

State officials: Deeper cuts needed in budget

November 4, 2008

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— In a stunning announcement, state budget experts said Tuesday that when lawmakers return to session in January they could be staring into a $1 billion budget hole.

"The economy overall has taken a significant turn for the worse," said Alan Conroy, director of the Kansas Legislative Research Department.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' budget director Duane Goossen said when the legislative session starts, Sebelius will submit a revised budget for the current fiscal year, which is projected to be short by $137 million.

Then state officials have to start working on a budget for the next fiscal year that starts July 1, 2009. Under current circumstances, that budget could be $959 million below spending commitments, according to the new projection provided by the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group.

The group of state officials and budget experts provide estimates for lawmakers to use when they deliberate on spending plans.

Asked if the budget problem could be solved through cuts only, Goossen said, "It would have to go very deep."

Conroy and Goossen, both state government veterans, said the financial picture was worse than in 2001 and 2002 when then-Gov. Bill Graves had to cut budgets and push through a tax increase.

"It's going to be really, really, really challenging," said Goossen, who also served as Graves' budget director.

Conroy said the main culprit is that the worsening national economy will drag down income taxes. Revenue receipts are expected to remain flat from the current fiscal year to the next, he said.

Earlier in the day, Sebelius said Kansas is faring better than many areas of the country because farm commodity prices are up, oil and gas revenue is flowing and the airplane manufacturing industry remains strong.

But, she said, losses in the stock market and falling consumer confidence soon will affect the state.

"As the national economy worsens, the Kansas economy will follow," she said.

In June, Sebelius asked state agencies to cut spending by 2 percent for the current fiscal year and 5 percent for the next fiscal year. "Agencies are already on notice that we don't have any new money to spend," she said

But Goossen said more than that will have to be cut in the near-term to meet the revised revenue estimate.

Comments

budwhysir 5 years, 5 months ago

Yes we did have a chance to vote, just seems as though some of the voters might not have understood

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Thinking_Out_Loud 5 years, 5 months ago

Man alive, the City Commission authorized the bus system. People complained that they ought to get to vote on whether or not there was a bus system. The Commission gave them that chance, and the citizens of Lawrence overwhelmingly agreed that this service is useful and appropriate. Why the continued complaints? Didn't we get what we wanted--a chance to vote on it?

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budwhysir 5 years, 5 months ago

Does the town of lawrence get any tax breaks for operating a non profit bus line??????

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doc1 5 years, 5 months ago

Hey look at it this way. Now they get to continue helping fund an empty bus system in Lawrence. No budget cut for that money guzzling service.

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solsken66 5 years, 5 months ago

The state needs to start auditing the agencies to see what can be reduced. Travel is one area that can be cut or reduced significantly. Meetings can be done live via computer with webcam technology. This would save on mileage, hotel, and food perdiem payouts. Then look at positions with consideration of pay for the type of work done. Finally look at if there is too many managerial positions that is redundant.

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hawkperchedatriverfront 5 years, 5 months ago

Thinking out Loud, I know what you are thinking, but let me explain. If the city reduces what they pay to local contractors and they feel the bite, they will then DEMAND that the city cut staff. I may fly around and perch and crap, but believe me, the status quo won't like it in Lawrnece when their tidy largesse starts dwindling, that which has been provided by city hall. It will work!Wonder if Chad is sharp enough to find out how much money city hall spends locally, and to whom and the amounts? Hmmmm?

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Pogo 5 years, 5 months ago

Indeed, toe....but then again these "slient majority" types are the very ones who gave us Richard Nixon and Ronnie Ray Gun; Bill Graves and Mike Hayden; etc. Ya feel me? Oh....and I am not a Democrat.....they're really no different in the final analysis. Dennis Moore voted for "bankruptcy reform" which made it far more difficult for "Joe the Plumber" types to seek bankruptcy protection......and yet Dennis Moore voted to give $700 billion so that the people who really run this place could have all the free lunches they ever dreamed about....

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toe 5 years, 5 months ago

Wait until the less well to do realize sales taxes are the most advantageous to the wealthy.

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Thinking_Out_Loud 5 years, 5 months ago

hawkperchedatriverfront wrote "Cuts can be made without layoffs."Which is drivel. Cuts of consequence must necessarily address the larget source of expenditures, which is salary and benefits.

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hawkperchedatriverfront 5 years, 5 months ago

Pogo,, wouldn;t it be justice if the university and the county and city had to lay off some employees, the very ones who voted for a sales tax. How sweet could that be?

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Pogo 5 years, 5 months ago

Perhaps the bell is simply tolling on about the sheer, utter, unmasked arrogance and stupidty that runs rampant within state agenices?The unclassified staff that are in appointed positions and do a lot of the "leadership" are the primary reasons for all this money sillines; them, and those that have been working for the state of Kansas 25+ years and whose only real accomplishment is that they wear double knit clothing and have sat in the same seats for these very same 25+ years....and then some."Leadership" within state government agenices is shared between a a hallowed few who know the right people and do very good jobs of bending over. A simple example is ex Kansas gov. Hayden who was awarded a patronage job. While the outfit he runs don't do that much and really don't count for much of the state budget, his appointment to the job shouts patronage.Look at the agency heads state wide and there you will find the real problem with "spending trends" .....or lack thereof.....in this backwater, inbred state.This state has one of the worst educational systems in the Nation; this state has one of the sorriest public welfare outlooks across the Land (SRS is the single largest state government employer); this state has a bankrupt higher education "infra structure" which is fixated on what people say and not what they do or the education that is not being delivered by what was once a pretty decent public higher education program; etc., etc., etc. Oh...and let's not forget our very own state legislature: Filled with dopes who care not about the citizens of this state....but about their own personal agendas....blah, blah, blah. It makes no difference what or who you vote for.....it's business as usual in Kansas and we're gonna get everything we deserve. Thank the good Lord for safe deposit boxes and cash money....."We Have Met The Enemy and He Is Us"

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hawkperchedatriverfront 5 years, 5 months ago

toe, i bet these knuckleheads in lawrence voted to raise sales tax..good I can't wait until they get the big bill from the gas company and then the property tax hike with the mill levy increase from the county. What we will hear next from 6 E 6th is that the employees need a raise, they are doing such a great job. The same will follow from the teachers. Nevermind that there employer, pays no property tax but is a hungry hog of a consumer of them.

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toe 5 years, 5 months ago

While our governor was running around touting her great success in Kansas, the budget was being hidden from view. Taxes are going up in a big big way and cuts will be needed too. Hope you did not vote to raise your taxes in Lawrence.

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hawkperchedatriverfront 5 years, 5 months ago

Now will the City of Lawrence follow suit and USD 497 as well. Cuts can be made without layoffs. Better purchasing, tighter prices for local contractors. Quit feeding the asphalt plant owner. Tighten the bidding. City sets the price. Contractors take it or leave it. Someone else will show up to do the work. Depression of 2010!

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5 years, 5 months ago

Of course you would know that....

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macon47 5 years, 5 months ago

osama be the new guywe will get plenty of free stuffhe be taking from the workingfolk and be giving it to the folk no one will hire

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Steve Jacob 5 years, 5 months ago

You know the gambling income disappeared in the 2009 budget.

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macon47 5 years, 5 months ago

just take the money from the poor and elderlythat works best for the money folk

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