Play Powerball for the good of the Kansas budget?

In an explanation presented to the Kansas House Appropriations Committee of how the Kansas state budget was balanced by Governor Mark Parkinson Monday, there’s a line item “Powerball income tax windfall.” The amount is $3.1 million, the result of a Kansan having won the multi-state jackpot not long ago.

That this item had its own line is evidence of just how hard it is to balance the budget in the face of declining revenues. I’m surprised no one on the committee suggested we all buy Powerball tickets to help the Kansas economy.

One of the ways the budget was balanced is to shirt ARRA (the federal stimulus) funds from next year to this year. Previously, Kansas had planned to use about half of the ARRA money this year, and half next. After Monday’s action, we’re now spending about two-thirds of it this year, with one-third left for next year, according to Kansas Budget Director Duane Goossen.

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