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Archive for Monday, April 19, 2010

Kansas lawmakers resume work on state’s budget

April 19, 2010, 8:32 a.m. Updated April 19, 2010, 11:39 a.m.

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Lobbyists, staff officials, staff and reporters attend on Monday the Senate Ways and Means Committee meeting. The committee was going to work on a budget and tax proposal in preparation for the wrap-up session that starts April 28. The state faces an estimated $510 million revenue hole.

Lobbyists, staff officials, staff and reporters attend on Monday the Senate Ways and Means Committee meeting. The committee was going to work on a budget and tax proposal in preparation for the wrap-up session that starts April 28. The state faces an estimated $510 million revenue hole.

— State Senate budget-writers returned to work Monday to tackle an estimated $510 million revenue shortfall.

“This is not a pleasant experience for any of us,” said state Sen. Jay Emler, R-Lindsborg, who is chair of the Ways and Means Committee.

State Sen. Jay Emler, R-Lindsborg, and chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee listens Monday to briefing from staff on budget crisis. Seated next to him is state Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, and the ranking Democrat on the panel.

State Sen. Jay Emler, R-Lindsborg, and chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee listens Monday to briefing from staff on budget crisis. Seated next to him is state Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, and the ranking Democrat on the panel.

Emler said the committee will meet this week to put together a budget and the tax increases needed to support it. An overflow crowd attended the first meeting Monday morning.

The full Legislature returns April 28 for the wrap-up session.

Last week, budget and economic experts revised state revenue estimates for the current and next fiscal years. The shortfall is roughly $510 million from Gov. Mark Parkinson’s recommended budget.

Parkinson, a Democrat, and Senate Republican leaders have called for a tax increase to bridge the gap.

Parkinson has said that the nearly $1 billion in state budget cuts that have already been made are enough. Further cuts, he said, will cause permanent harm to public schools, higher education and social services.

But House Republican leaders oppose any new taxes, saying an increase would be too great a burden on Kansas families amid a shaky economy.

Comments

lawrenceguy40 4 years, 8 months ago

Two easy solutions:

Pay state employees for the work they do. That should save about 50% on the salary budget.

Close KU for the rest of the year (permanently if possible). We should pay for products we need, and we do not need our kids to be indoctrinated in the liberal nonsense they call an education up there on the hill.

werekoala 4 years, 8 months ago

Yeah! We don't need that fancy-pants book-learnin'! This here is a GAWD-FEARIN' state and we got no time for your atheist madrassas of librul fashizm!

Hell, I never graduated High Scool, nor did my pappy nor his pappy a'fore him! Don't see how we's missed out on it, neither...

I'd write more but I gotta get my Medicare scooter down to the rally against gobbermint sponsored health care...

anon1958 4 years, 8 months ago

There is plenty of money in Kansas! The KU athletic director makes about 12K per day if I remember correctly. Someone needs to find the pipeline that is the source of all that money and divert it to some useful purpose.

riverdrifter 4 years, 8 months ago

Paid for by KU donator funds, not tax money.

Get informed. Try again.

werekoala 4 years, 8 months ago

On a more serious note, maybe this is why tax cuts during boom years are a bad idea -- they're unsustainable once the money river dries up, which is exactly when it hurts worse to raise taxes again. True fiscal conservatism includes planning ahead and buying an umbrella before a rainy day comes.

But in the simplistic jargon that passes for American political thought, fiscal conservatism = lowering taxes, always, every time, end of story. It's a good incentive for economic growth, but the one-size-fits-all solution that right-wingers propose gets ludicrous.

Times are good? Cut taxes! Times are bad! Cut taxes!

Gubbermint's broke? Blame the Kenyan!

Ken Lewis 4 years, 8 months ago

They have it solved. The state is going to sieze assets in prostitution case. its the law already. So the state will profit from illegal prostitution....from a "high moral ground" of course.

Abbefaria 4 years, 8 months ago

Werekoala, I about fell out of my seat laughing.

I love this quote, btw: “This is not a pleasant experience for any of us." As a Kansas resident, I feel that everday when the legislators are in Topeka.

KawHawk 4 years, 8 months ago

"Kansas lawmakers resume work on state’s budget"

RESUME ? They haven't done a darn thing YET, and will likely fritter away more time and have to come back in a special session !

EyeonKansas 4 years, 8 months ago

To be honest, I'd rather see a tax increase than see any more cuts to programs, services, or having state employees furloughed or laid off. The limited hiring and furloughs already occuring are slowing down processing of documents and payments.

It's easy to look from the outside and try to point fingers at where in each program, service, or employee is not what you want your tax dollars spent on... I'm sure it goes the other way too. On more than one occasion I have no doubt state employees see the "fluff" occuring from the grants, contracts, and other means/ways the private sector is paid from government spending and they are limited to make change.

In my way of thinking, the cuts have already begun to hurt the very people we as a state want to help and protect... that is if we have any sense of humanity left. There is no more opportunity to slice at the edges, it's gotten to deep gashes and the bleeding has got to stop. The only way to stop it and not cause additional bleeding is to draw in more revenue.

I say increase the tax on sales but that revenue cannot be put to increase any of the programs, services, or hire new (or fill vacant) positions from what was in place on April 1, 2010.

I will still be buying my necessities and will pay more in taxes but I won't be able to buy the larger ticket items. I will have to budget according to what I can afford, as I always do. People who have the money or are willing to pay the taxes will still be able to buy those larger ticket items.

FYI: I don't financially qualify but for those who do qualify for food stamps, I found out they don't have to pay taxes on those purchases... so for those at the poorest who meet those financial guidelines and will accept the limited help it provides they will at least not be as hard hit on an essential, like food.

It's easier for me to plan to spend an extra couple of dollars at the check out stand than to know my best friend's grandma that lives 2 hours away is not going to have someone do her grocery shopping this week because her service time had to be decreased due to budget cuts.

Thinking_Out_Loud 4 years, 8 months ago

"In my way of thinking, the cuts have already begun to hurt the very people we as a state want to help and protect... that is if we have any sense of humanity left."

I think there's a good argument that we don't.

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