Martin Hawver explains that as bad as the Kansas budget situation is, Governor Kathleen Sebelius — at least for now — isn’t required to recognize the full depth of the crisis.
The Consensus Revenue Estimating Group, comprised of fiscal wizards who, well, estimate future revenues into the State General Fund, predicts that revenues will fall at least $211 million before the fiscal year ends on June 30, 2009. What that means is that spending approved by last year’s Legislature is about $140 million more than Kansas is likely to have (the state had been looking forward to ending this fiscal year with a small balance). … Here’s the political good part, if we can call it that. Sebelius has to meet the figures produced by the revenue estimators back on Nov. 4, and revenues have gotten worse since then. But the Nov. 4 estimate, legally, is the target she is required to meet. … It probably means that the Legislature is going to have to cut more spending this fiscal year, but Sebelius gets to make the least-icky of the cuts. And the political focus will be on the Legislature’s additional cuts to get through this fiscal year.
The full article, well worth reading, is The politics of budget cutting.
I kind of find it interesting that you keep criticizing the Governor. She deserves part of the blame for the current budget problems, but the Legislature deserves some as well.
If the Legislature was so concerned about the budget then why did they keep approving spending increases each year?
My answer is that the most members of the legislature, with a few exceptions, were happy to go along for the ride. Of course they share blame.
Republicans and Democrats are guilty too, but remember that the tip of the pencil of the Governor equals 63 votes.
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