Archive for Sunday, March 28, 2010

Senate vice president says special session on budget possible

State lawmakers said they will not be discussing the state budget at this week's meetings. More than $1 billion has already been cut from the budget but there are still hundreds of millions that need to be trimmed.

March 28, 2010

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— A key senator on Sunday said the Kansas Legislature may have to meet in a special legislative session this summer to resolve the state budget crisis.

Speaking on the television show “Ask Your Legislator,” Senate Vice President John Vratil, R-Leawood, said the prospect of an overtime session in July wasn’t desireable but possible because of the fight over spending and taxes.

“We will, ultimately, see a tax increase before we’re done,” Vratil said.

Nearly $1 billion has been cut from state spending over the past year, but legislators still face a nearly $500 million revenue shortfall for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

This week, legislators are expected to adjourn the first part of the 2010 session without having passed a budget proposal out of either the House or Senate.

A Senate committee has produced a spending plan that leaves a $364 million revenue, but attempts to advance tax increases to fill that gap have failed. And House Republican leaders have approved a plan that cuts spending to public schools, but that has failed to gain any traction.

Legislative leaders have now said they will wait until the wrap-up session, which starts April 28, to write a budget. By that time they will have the most current revenue projection, which is will be made April 16.

State Rep. Marti Crow, D-Leavenworth, also appearing on “Ask Your Legislator” said most of her constituents are telling her that they could accept Gov. Mark Parkinson’s proposal to increase the state sales tax from 5.3 cents per dollar to 6.3 cents per dollar for a three-year period.

Crow said her constituents say they don’t want to see any more cuts to education and social services.

Vratil agreed, saying, “Never before have I heard from constituents saying, `I want a tax increase.’ “

House Republican leaders, however, have said any tax increase would burden Kansans and hurt the economic recovery.

Comments

geekyhost 4 years, 12 months ago

Grow a pair and raise income taxes already. Make a higher bracket. Our highest bracket is $30,000. That's crazy low. What about a bracket for 9% at incomes above 150 or 200k?

headdoctor 4 years, 12 months ago

Of course, lets make the situation worse by running up the cost of Government operation because they didn't have the balls to address any real problems while in session.

geekyhost 4 years, 12 months ago

There is that, too. I'd rather pay for teachers than special sessions to solve issues that we should have seen coming long ago. I suspect they were hoping the stimulus fairy would yet again bless the state with the ability to conveniently be for spending and against taxing.

volunteer 4 years, 12 months ago

I will be making contributions to opponents of incumbents. Not getting their work done on time is outrageous, especially in this Recession.

love2fish_ks 4 years, 12 months ago

State Governments do three things: Educate Medicate, and Incarcerate. Those three things make up 78% of the Kansas state budget. Dramatic cuts are needed in the remaining 22%. Yes that will be people will lose state jobs in the 22% remaining. Regarding the top 3, Education will be forced to draw the short straw and take some level of hit. That is the ugly reality. Remember the 'medicate' dollars are federally mandated.

The new Healthcare Reform Law pushed more liability to the states for Medicaid (~30% increase in cost). Taxes will have to be raised in 2011 and 2012 to cover those unfunded mandates. We do not have the option of raising taxes for State budget and raise taxes again for expansion of Medicaid. Our states were slammed with new cost mandates in the new law.

love2fish_ks 4 years, 12 months ago

State Governments do three things: Educate Medicate, and Incarcerate. Those three things make up 78% of the Kansas state budget. Dramatic cuts are needed in the remaining 22%. Yes that will be people will lose state jobs in the 22% remaining. Regarding the top 3, Education will be forced to draw the short straw and take some level of hit. That is the ugly reality. Remember the 'medicate' dollars are federally mandated.

The new Healthcare Reform Law pushed more liability to the states for Medicaid (~30% increase in cost). Taxes will have to be raised in 2011 and 2012 to cover those unfunded mandates. We do not have the option of raising taxes for State budget and raise taxes again for expansion of Medicaid. Our states were slammed with new cost mandates in the new law.

MyName 4 years, 12 months ago

Oh and I'm sure none of the budget hole has to do with decreasing revenues from the economic recession.

Also, please explain to me where you are going to find more cuts to any of the three you listed, especially to education? They've already cut a billion dollars, you can either rollback to early 1990s level of funding or you can rollback some of the tax cuts that were pushed through in the last 15 years.

Considering the choice between having to pay for crumbling infrastructure and having stupid people running around long term, or having to pay more taxes in the short term (taxes which could always be rolled back once the revenue gets back to normal), I think most people are willing to choice the later.

The rest are short sighted and should probably be kicked out of office.

billbodiggens 4 years, 12 months ago

Do nothing but sit on your backsides, pass non-binding resolutions, debate the state grass, and then call a special session that spends even more money and only makes the problem worst for the sole purpose of determining what to do with the budget. Hey, I've got a suggestion, adjourn for the spring, and just give back all of the salary and expenses you have sucked up to date doing nothing.

billbodiggens 4 years, 12 months ago

What a mess. If it were not for some lame duck, out of nowhere, fil-in govenor this state would have ceased to exist a long time ago. Just go home, legislature, and let the apparently only adult in Topeka run the show.

sciencegeek 4 years, 12 months ago

Special session, my eyelash! If they'd done the job they were elected to do, had any intestinal fortitude, and cared about the people who elected them, they'd be done by now. It isn't like the budget problem was a surprise to them, was it? What have they been doing since January???

How about this: if they call a special session, there will be NO PAY to legislators. Bet THAT will get something done!

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