Who else loves to sit on their back deck and enjoy the beautiful April weather while evaluating the Kansas budget?? Okay, maybe that’s not you typical go-to, but that’s what a hard-working legislator does.
A couple of days ago, the Kansas Department of Revenue released the revenue collections for the month of March for the Kansas state budget. As you can expect, they were down, though not significantly. It was about $8.6 million dollars which accounts for about 1.5%. A few days later we got the numbers as it relates to jobless claims in the state of Kansas. Neither of the figures were down significantly but both were down somewhat.
We all knew the COVID-19 pandemic was going to cause drastic effects to the Kansas revenue collections as the month of March progressed. When the economy went into a near standstill, so did the collections.
I looked at the budget that the legislature passed on March 19th, 2020. I’ve got a document that you can look at that is included in the blog along with this video. It’s surprising, to say the least.
On this document, prepared by the Kansas Legislature Research Department, it shows that the Kansas Legislature for the fiscal year 2020, the current fiscal year, spent $179 million more than projected revenue. The next year was even worse! Fiscal year 2021 they spent $348 million more than projected revenue. Folks, that’s a two year deficit of $527 million dollars that the Kansas legislature passed. What were they thinking? Where is this money going to come from if not from revenue collections? Did they ask common sense to leave the room while they worked on this budget? It’s beyond me. I can’t figure out what they were thinking.
We can do better than this. We need legislators to work hard and do better than this.
Maybe if more of the Kansas Legislature spent their free time evaluating the Kansas budget we wouldn't be in this situation.
I ask that you join me as we work to do better than this.