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Nonpartisan Research Forcasts Kansas Will Have $238M Budget Shortfall By Mid-2016

The Legislative Research Department released a forecast Friday saying that Kansas will face a budget shortfall of $238 million by the end of July 2016, a year sooner than it had been expected.

The nonpartisan research staff forecast also showed a lower figure for the state's cash reserves on June 30 than the cash-on-hand figure reported last month by Gov. Sam Brownback's administration - $380 million compared with nearly $435 million.

The department made its routine adjustment of the cash figure to account for bills pending but not paid as of that date, the end of the 2014 budget year.

Governor Brownback and his aides say the cuts are stimulating growth and creating jobs, so that tax revenues generated from new economic activity will offset the reductions, sustaining the budget.

Some fellow Republicans also argue that the department's forecasts can't properly estimate how tax cuts ripple through the economy as people have more money to spend.

The projected shortfall is the gap between anticipated revenues and current spending commitments.

The state has an official forecast of about $6 billion in revenues for the budget year that began July 1, and the department made assumptions about revenue growth for future years that will be revised over time.