Kansas is preparing for a new fiscal forecast for state government this week that officials hope is more optimistic and makes fixing serious budget problems easier.
The forecasting group plans to meet Thursday to revise a pessimistic forecast issued in November. The previous forecast left the state with projected budget shortfalls totaling more than $1 billion through June 2019.
Since that November forecast, the state's tax collections have exceeded expectations by $57 million and given the state a 1.4 percent revenue surplus for its current fiscal year.
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and legislators will use the new numbers in budgeting. If the forecast is more optimistic about tax collections, the budget gaps will shrink.
The forecasting group includes legislative researchers, university economists, Department of Revenue officials and Brownback budget staffers.