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Kansas Governor Won’t Release Budget Plans Early

Stephen Koranda
KPR/File photo
Gov. Sam Brownback speaks to reporters during a news conference in 2015.

Gov. Sam Brownback says his office won't release any spending plans until the final version of the budget is unveiled in January.

The administration has asked state agencies and universities to imagine what they would do if a 5 percent budget cut was needed, but those documents won’t be made public. The governor's office says such draft documents are not subject to the Kansas Open Records Act.

That's not sitting well with Doug Anstaett, of the Kansas Press Association, who says the administration is choosing closed government over transparency.

“Everybody knows the shape of the budget and knows that without some kind of revenue enhancement, there’s going to have to be more cuts made," Anstaett says. "The public has a right to know what the governor is considering and what he’s asking his agencies to do."

Similar budget documents have been made public by previous administrations. Staff members say the Kansas Board of Regents will release budget-cutting proposals under consideration.