To close a growing budget deficit, the state of Kansas should cut spending and transfer funds from highways and children’s programs, according to Gov. Sam Brownback.
Wednesday morning, Brownback’s administration presented its proposal to lawmakers in Topeka. Kansas faces an estimated $14 million shortfall for this fiscal year and an estimated $190 million deficit for the 2017 fiscal year, which begins in July.
The proposal includes transferring $25 million from the Kansas Department of Transportation and $50 million from the Children’s Initiative Fund (CIF) - the biggest transfer proposed for the 2017 fiscal year.
The CIF is designed to pay for children’s programs such as Early Head Start and the Parents as Teachers program.
The CIF helps fund the following programs:
- Early Childhood Block Grant
- Parents As Teachers
- Kansas Reading Initiative
- Infants and Toddlers Program
- Child Care Assistance
- Kansas Preschool
- Children’s Mental Health Waiver
- Family Preservation
- Smoking Prevention Grants
- Judge Riddel Boys Ranch
- Child Care Quality Initiative
- Children’s Cabinent Accountability Fund
- Healthy Start/ Home Visitor
- Kansas Early Head Start
- Autism Diagnosis
- Newborn Hearing Aid Loaner Program
See how funds are allocated below. (Source: Children's Initiative Fund, page 4)
“This isn’t just a short-sighted budget recommendation. This will dismantle one of Kansas’ most innovative, forward-thinking legacies,” Shannon Cotsoradis, President and CEO of Kansas Action for Children, said in a news release.
The transfers from the Department of Transportation and CIF, as well as others, are estimated to put $116.6 million in the state’s general fund. Brownback’s proposal also includes making $105.7 million in budget cuts.
Ariel Rothfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.