Expect financial turmoil in Kansas to continue. Lawmakers left Topeka after approving revisions to the budgets already in place for FY 2016 and FY 2017, but failed to solve the underlying problem facing the state. As a result of unaffordable tax cuts, Kansas does not receive enough revenue to pay bills.
The FY 2016 budget that lawmakers passed has a large structural imbalance, and would leave the general fund $140 million below zero at the end of the fiscal year. To avoid the negative ending balance, lawmakers are expecting the governor to use his powers to transfer yet another $70 million from the highway fund. That would technically increase general fund revenue, but it’s more one-time money that does not narrow the structural imbalance.