Brownback proposes expenditure reduction of $72 million

Gov. Sam Brownback submitted a budget amendment to the Legislature on Thursday to reduce state general fund expenditures by $72 million and ease the burden of producing balanced budgets in the next two fiscal years.

The recommendation to members of the House Appropriations Committee was in response to a bleak revenue analysis demonstrating lawmakers had to close a $400 million revenue shortfall for the fiscal year starting July 1.

Tax collections to Kansas’ treasury collapsed in accordance with major business and individual income tax reductions approved by Brownback and Republican legislators in 2012 and 2013. A state economist estimated the state would have $1 billion in extra revenue in the next fiscal year if the tax reform bills hadn’t been adopted.

Of consequence moving forward, the substantive bounce in business growth projected by advocates of a supply-side approach to income tax policy has yet to fully materialize in Kansas.

“It seems almost incomprehensible that we ended up as far behind this year as we are,” said Rep. Don Hill, R-Emporia.

Rep. Ron Ryckman Jr., an Olathe Republican and chairman of the House budget committee, said decisive action had to be taken by state political leaders to avoid being “in the same place next year as we are now.”

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