Kansas facing $216M budget shortfall

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — New budget projections from the Kansas Legislature’s nonpartisan research staff show a state budget shortfall developing by July 2016.

The projections released Friday by the Legislative Research Department also show a lower figure for the state’s cash reserves on June 30 than Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration reported last month.

The department provided the figures to The Associated Press exclusively after releasing them to legislators.

The department first said the state would face a $262 million shortfall by July 2016. A short time later, it revised the figure to $238 million.

Kansas has cut income taxes aggressively.

The department also said the state’s cash reserves on June 30 were $380 million, not the nearly $435 million Brownback’s administration reported. The department factored in bills that were still pending on June 30.

On Wednesday, Standard and Poor lowered the state’s bond rating from AA to AA-, specifically citing Brownback’s “aggressive” income tax cuts and several months of revenue shortfalls in April, May and June.

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