Gov. Sam Brownback's office said Thursday that he does not plan to make any more spending cuts this month, despite a $74.5 million shortfall in May revenues.
"The budget office is looking at using fee funds held by some cabinet agencies, where there is discretion in the use of those funds, to balance the budget for the remainder of the fiscal year," Brownback's spokeswoman Eileen Hawley said. "We are not anticipating further allotments."
That will come as good news for workers at many state programs and agencies, including Kansas University in Lawrence which, coupled with its medical school in Kansas City, took a $7.2 million allotment cut earlier this year, and was cut an additional $10.7 million for the new fiscal year that begins July 1.
The revenue report that was released Wednesday stunned many observers because the official estimates of how much money the state should take in were just revised downward in mid-April.
But even with those lower estimates, individual income tax revenues came in $58 million below the mark, and corporate income taxes were $15 million below estimates.
That raised immediate questions about whether the estimating process itself is still flawed, or if something unexpected happened in the Kansas economy.
In announcing the numbers, the Kansas Department of Revenue suggested it could be both.
“Large company layoffs and struggles in the aviation, oil and agricultural industries point to an overall sluggish economy which contributed to lower-than-expected revenue receipts,” Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan said in a statement. “This is a trend reflected throughout the region.”
Under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, or WARN, large companies are required to give workers 60 days notice before implementing mass layoffs. Those notices are also posted on the Kansas Department of Labor's website.
A search of WARN notices going back to March 1 showed only four had been filed in Kansas. A total of 487 jobs were affected by those notices.
They included 113 jobs at Sprint in Overland Park, 152 jobs at the manufacturing firm Arvos in Concordia; 150 jobs at Machine Laboratory in Lenexa; and 74 jobs at the Wichita Eagle.
Another nine companies filed what are called non-WARN notices because the number of jobs affected were below the threshold for full notices. Another 234 jobs were affected by those layoff notices, the vast majority of them in the Wichita area.
The most recent labor market survey from the Department of Labor for April reported there were just under 1.4 million jobs in Kansas, down about 2,900 from April 2015.
But the Revenue Department also said the administration is reviewing the entire revenue estimating process.
"Governor Brownback tasked Budget Director Shawn Sullivan with implementing a full, independent review with outside experts to evaluate current procedures related to revenue estimating and budgeting," it said. "The review will evaluate the existing consensus revenue estimating process to determine why it fails to provide accurate estimates for budgeting purposes, make recommendations for improving the quality of fiscal notes, and analyze existing tax policies."