Longbine troubled by revenue direction, education funding lawsuit decision

State lawmakers have been closely watching revenue totals and projections for months, especially after setting a so-called "glide path to zero" income taxes.

Projections are trending along with revised expectations, but the actual year-to-year numbers are well behind -- and that's a major concern for Sen. Jeff Longbine with the 2014 session looming in a few weeks.

Longbine joined KVOE's Morning Show to continue this week's legislative previews. He says the revenue directions are sobering, regardless of how you look at them. Revenues may be tracking along with current projections, but they are down about half a billion dollars from fiscal 2013 to fiscal 2014 to date.

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Ending balances are another way to view the state's revenue direction. Longbine says the $745 million in the state's savings account will shrink to about $571 million by July and around $360 million in fiscal 2015. That may be above some projections as Rep. Peggy Mast said on KVOE on Monday, but it gives the state very little wiggle room if the Kansas Supreme Court mandates more spending for K-through-12 education after lawmakers decided against adhering to the court's mandate several years ago.

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Longbine believes lawmakers will take a closer look at the funding cut to Emporia State, and he's hoping Gov. Brownback will issue a supplemental budget to make that happen. He says transportation issues are another concern for his constituents, and he wants to "protect" transportation funding so it doesn't get shunted to the general fund.

KVOE's legislative previews will conclude at 8:30 am Wednesday with Rep. Don Hill in studio.

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