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Archive for Thursday, November 5, 2009

Statehouse Live: FORECAST IN: Recession continues, budget cuts likely;

November 5, 2009, 8:24 a.m. Updated November 5, 2009, 6:39 p.m.

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— Kansas’ falling tax revenues took another dive Thursday as budget experts met and declared that the state remains mired in an economic recession.

The Consensus Revenue Estimating Group revised downward revenue for the current fiscal year by another $235 million. Combining that with increased caseloads for social services and increased school costs, the state is looking at a $460 million budget shortfall.

Gov. Mark Parkinson's budget director Duane Goossen (left), and Alan Conroy, director of the Kansas Legislative Research Department discuss new state revenue estimates Thursday in Capitol. The report shows continuing drop in tax receipts.

Gov. Mark Parkinson's budget director Duane Goossen (left), and Alan Conroy, director of the Kansas Legislative Research Department discuss new state revenue estimates Thursday in Capitol. The report shows continuing drop in tax receipts.

Gov. Mark Parkinson promised to balance the fiscal year 2010 budget before the legislative session starts in January.

“To Legislators across Kansas, I say this: In the coming weeks, I will take whatever steps are necessary to balance the 2010 budget before the Legislature returns; that is a promise I have made, and it is a promise I will keep,” Parkinson said.

But more budget problems await at the start of the legislative session as officials said Kansas won’t begin climbing out of the recession until later next year.

Related document

New State Revenue Estimate ( .PDF )

To bridge the budget shortfall will take significant cuts, tax increases or a combination of both officials said.

“It’s a tremendous hole,” said state Sen. Jay Emler, R-Lindsborg, and chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. “I don’t envy the governor at all on this one,” he said.

Public schools, which make up half of the state budget, are likely to take a big hit.

Mark Tallman, lobbyist for the Kansas Association of School Boards, said damage to education would be “high” with cuts at the level needed to fill the hole.

Comments

4getabouit 4 years, 10 months ago

Toe speaks with sound reason. There needs to be a masssive restructuring of school districts and school size. Some districts cannot be consolidated due to distance. However, many KS districts are just a few miles apart. Of the 300 school districts, over 150 are smaller in number than Central JHS. Small schools are also a fond memory. Get efficient or go under.

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BigDog 4 years, 10 months ago

Shortly (within the next week) after the new numbers are released expect Governor Parkinson to release allotments for state departments.

Don't be surprised if these reductions cause agencies to remove people from services and employees to be furloughed or laid off.

No being a doom and gloom guy but I have heard preliminary shortfall projections (which could be revised in this meeting) of $200-$300 million shortfall in the current year and $400-$500 million next year.

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avoice 4 years, 10 months ago

Toe has very good suggestions, and BigDog is right on target. Sticking our heads in the sand or hoping that things will get better does not change anything. The only way to solve a problem is to have the courage to take it on and deal with it. Too many people in this country as well as this state just want to get back to the way things were in 2006 as quickly as possible. Time for us all to realize that the way things were in 2006 is likely never going to come around again, at least not in our lifetimes (or our children's). Let's ramp up the efficiency in all our services, businesses and programs. From here on out, it's going to be about what is sustainable, not about how much everyone can grab for themselves or how little effort everyone can put into what they do.

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thepianoman 4 years, 10 months ago

Um, yeah, I'd say doom and gloom is an accurate description. Hundreds of millions in revenue shortfalls for the current and next fiscal year?? This is going to get REALLY, REALLY UGLY.....For one not to say that this will not have devistating/crippling ramifications, has one's head in the sand.....The state has no choice but to do some super-extensive restructuring of school districts and state government, cause the funds continue to rapidly evaporate......

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thepianoman 4 years, 10 months ago

Just to clarify.....that hundreds of millions was not official.....that was big dog's projections...but I'm sure he's probably right....

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threetoedsloth 4 years, 10 months ago

"Martin Hawver’s “Capitol Flash” reports that..." How is subscribing to (or not subscribing, and just getting it from someone else) another journalist's emailed newsletter and posting their content considered "journalism?" The figures should be readily available to anyone bothering to take the time to gather the information.

Haven't I read about newspapers being up in arms about online "news aggregators" doing this to them? The newspaper does the work, but the aggregator takes the content and the traffic to line their wallets. Oh, and the online aggregators have plead the, "But we gave them credit by citing their work," so please don't give me that tired line LJW.

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Jonathan Kealing 4 years, 10 months ago

threetoed--

You won't hear us ever complaining about Google or any of the other aggregators — they bring us traffic, which we can then monetize. There's nothing wrong with them or what Scott has cited here.

Jonathan Kealing Online editor

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threetoedsloth 4 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for the clarification, Jonathan. Guess it must be other newspapers not liking that. Seem to recall a Washington Post reporter that was less than pleased that the article he'd spent weeks on got consumed almost verbatim by an aggregator, and he noted that resulted in very little traffic for the Post.

Am I correct to assume that LJW pays for a subscription to Hawver's Capitol Report to garner that content? Because I haven't seen any other means for accessing HCR.

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Alexander Neighbors 4 years, 10 months ago

IF the state of Kansas offered a land grab It would be an enticing option to get people into Kansas.

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