With higher revenue forecast, legislators review budget issues

Following last Friday’s release of new official revenue estimates, leaders of the Legislature’s budget committees yesterday received a briefing on issues they will face in the 2019 session.  The new estimates project the state general fund will take in $300 million more than expected in the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2019, and result in an ending balance of over $900 million or 12.6 percent.  However, commitments the Legislature has already made could whittle the ending balance down to $308 million dollar by 2021, with expenditures exceeding revenues by the same amount. In addition, state agencies have submitted requests for [...]

Read more...

KPERS update available on KASB video, podcast

In a new KASB Live segment, Alan Conroy, executive director of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, provides an update on the improving fiscal health of the pension plan that serves employees for schools and state and local governments. Here is a link to the video and here is a link to the podcast.

Read more...

KPERS in stronger position

A combination of Kansas legislative investments and market growth have helped move the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) into a much stronger position and out of the bottom third ranking of state funded pensions.  At the Joint Committee meeting on Pensions Monday, KPERS Executive Director Alan Conroy reported that through a combination of a strong market year, additional investments from the Legislature and the benefits of the pension obligation bonds issued in 2004 and 2015 the State/School Funded Ratio Projection is higher than it was projected to be back in 2008.  Original projections had the fund crossing the 60 percent [...]

Read more...

State revenues end year $318 million higher than expected

State general fund tax revenues for Fiscal Year 2018, which ended June 30, were $317.8 million higher than the official estimates released in April, according to the Kansas Department of Revenue. Based on an updated report from the Kansas Division of Budget, the increased revenue should result in an FY 2018 ending balance of $765.5 million, or 11.4 percent of approved expenditures of $6.691 billion. Under a provision in the state budget bill, if actual State General Fund revenues are above consensus estimates, then up to $56.0 million must be transferred from the State General Fund to the KPERS Trust Fund [...]

Read more...

SBR: 2018 session in the books, work continues on school finance

By Leah Fliter lfliter@kasb.org The 2018 Kansas Legislative Session saw legislators repairing the state budget and adding more funds to public schools after adverse court rulings. KASB commended legislators for their work in a statement: After restoring a more balanced tax system last year, state revenues and economic growth have been much stronger than expected. Over the past two years, the Legislature has begun to make investments in public education to stop falling behind inflation and other states and to reverse the decline in measures of student success. CLICK HERE to download the full issue. “The Legislature also began restoring funding for higher education, [...]

Read more...

Budget committees make spending adjustments as Legislature returns

After receiving news that state revenue estimates were raised by $534 million last week, legislative budget committees spent Wednesday adding funding for state pension contributions, social services, highways and education. However, the House Appropriations Committee added a provision that would wipe out most of the increases if the Kansas Supreme Court rules the Legislature has not provided adequate funding for public education.  This unusual provision was authored by state Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita. The ultimately successful amendment would undo much of the House committee’s seven hours of budget work on Wednesday if the Supreme Court rules against the state in [...]

Read more...

KASB releases four surveys today on Kansas school operations

More women are serving on school boards and last year saw the lowest reported total of school bond amounts since 2009-10, according to new KASB research reports being released today.  The four KASB 2017-18 reports include the School Board Elections Survey, Questions Submitted Elections Survey, Teacher Salary Schedules, and Retirement Survey.  In 2017-18, 65.5 percent of school board members reported were men and 34.5 percent were women, according to the School Board Election Survey. The percent of women has been increasing since 2004-05 when 29.6 percent of board members were women.  And reported bond amounts in 2017-18 were at the lowest level [...]

Read more...

Bill to cap KPERs benefits for higher-earning members scheduled for hearing Thursday

A bill that would cap retirement contributions and benefits for higher-earning Kansas Public Employees Retirement System members is scheduled for a hearing Thursday in the Senate Financial Institutions Committee. KPERS executive director Alan Conroy says the bill may require some technical clean-up work if the committee wants to advance it. KASB is continuing to study the implications of the bill. As introduced, SB 395 would set a maximum final average salary amount for purposes of computing retirement benefits for certain members of KPERS, Kansas Policy and Fire and the retirement system for judges. The maximum would be based on the [...]

Read more...

Education bills introduced Feb. 7

Five bills concerning school districts were introduced Feb. 7. KASB staff is continuing to analyze other bills for their impact on education.  SB 395 - Setting a maximum final average salary amount for purposes of computing retirement benefits for certain members of KPERS, KP&F and the retirement system for judges. The bill would place limits on retirement benefits by setting a maximum final average salary for some retirees, regardless of actual salary. Referred to Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance.  HB 2653 - Income tax; relating to credits; educational expenses made by certain school employees. The bill would provide a 20% tax [...]

Read more...