In addition to schools, many budget needs cited

Additional funding for K-12 education to comply with the Kansas Supreme Court’s Gannon decision will face a lot of competition for state dollars. 

On Wednesday, the Legislative Budget Committee received a briefing on additional requests for funding from a range of state agencies seeking more money for both the current fiscal year and next year. Those requests total almost $400 million over two years. 

That amount is almost double the additional tax revenue expected to be received over the same two years under a more optimistic revenue estimate received last month. 

Here is a link to KASB’s Newsmakers Interview on the November consensus revenue estimates with Kansas Legislative Research Department tax expert Chris Courtwright and State Budget Director Shawn Sullivan: 

These budget requests do not include anything to address the court’s ruling that last year’s school finance plan failed to meet constitutional standards of adequacy. They do include an additional $20 million in the current year and $35 million next year for additional Kansas Public Employees Retirement System contributions due to higher payroll costs. 

Other big requests include: 

  • $24 million next year for the Board of Regents and state universities to restore previous budget cuts. 
  • Nearly $140 million next year for social services, including elimination of the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services waiting lists. 
  • $20 million for the judicial branch. 
  • $13 million for corrections, including pay for prison staff. 

The committee also learned that the cost of mandatory human services caseloads from the state general fund is expected to increase $16.4 million this year and $50 million next year. 

In addition to these costs, the Legislature has continued to transfer sales tax revenue from the state highway fund to the state general fund, and delayed nearly $200 million in KPERS payments for school district employees. 

Agency requests are under review by the Governor’s Budget Division. Final recommendations for adjustments to the two-year budget for the current year and next year will be made in December to the Governor. 

The Kansas Legislative Research Department is preparing a five-year budget profile to look at the long-term revenue trends and expenditure options. 

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