Governor Mark Parkinson unveils his plan to balance the budget. The plan includes a combination of revenue adjustments and spending cuts.
Among the new cuts, aid to public schools and universities. A few adjustments will require the
approval of legislators when they reconvene in January. But most, including the new cuts in school aid and higher education spending, take effect immediately.
"I said from the beginning that I would not make any budget cuts until it was absolutely necessary," said Parkinson Thursday morning. "Unfortunately, that time has come and changes must be made. My plan is a responsible reaction to the current struggles we face. It makes the best effort to protect public safety, disabled Kansans and other critical services, and it does not include an across-the-board cut to state employee salaries or furloughs."
The plan includes $69 million in new revenue. That, combined with increased federal funds and budget cuts, creates $160 million to balance the books.
The adjustments are designed to keep the state's budget in the black for its 2010 fiscal year, which began July 1st. A deficit loomed when tax collections fell $126 million short of expectations for the just-completed fiscal year.
The cuts Parkinson is imposing include a 2 percent reduction in aid to school districts. The higher education system will see a similar reduction in state tax dollars.
Governor Parkinson called for a meeting of the State Finance Council to deal with cash flow issues. The meeting is scheduled for Monday at the Capitol.