June 22, 2024

TOPEKA – Gov. Mark Parkinson and state legislators are waiting on the most recent state revenue report before they tackle the hairy problem that’s the state budget. However, state Sen. Derek Schmidt said the wait probably won’t be worth it. Budget experts estimate that February state revenue numbers could be $60 million to $70 million lower than expected, forcing more state spending cuts. State Sen. Pat Apple said that in the last three years, the state has lost nearly $1 billion in revenue and cuts have been difficult. Parkinson and legislators have made even deeper cuts and there’s limit to much can be cut or taxes raised, he said. Next year could be even worse, he said. To a certain extent, federal economic stimulus funds have helped cushion the impact of the state’s economic downturn, he said. But when those funds start running out, the state’s budget crisis will be hard to manage, he said. Rep. Bill Feuerborn’s Appropriations Committee has started whittling on a series of state department budgets to try to deal with the state financial crisis. As the committee works on the budgets of the larger departments, there might be a chance to make more cuts, he said.

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