Kansas Budget Basics

0 | Root

Kansas government is a $14 billion enterprise.

For Fiscal Year 2013 (July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013) the Governor and Legislature approved a total budget for Kansas of $14.3 billion when counting everything.

The total budget is made up of many funds. The largest is the State General Fund, over which lawmakers have the most discretion. The Highway Fund pays for road construction and maintenance out of revenue from fuel taxes, federal highway dollars, and fees. Higher Education System Funds come from tuition, fees, and federal dollars, and are spent on postsecondary education programs. Federal Medicaid funding matches Medicaid spending from the State General Fund. The All Other Funds portion comprises hundreds of smaller funds, each for a special purpose.

The majority of State General Fund receipts come from individual income tax collections and from sales tax collections. Most State General Fund expenditures go to education and human services.

In building a budget for the State General Fund, revenues and expenditures must match up or balance. In a given fiscal year it may be possible for spending to be greater than receipts, if a balance has carried over from the prior fiscal year. However, spending cannot exceed the combination of the available balance plus receipts. The state may issue bonds to fund capital projects such as highways or buildings, but the state cannot issue bonds to fund annual operating costs, or to make up an imbalance between receipts and expenditures.

In FY 2008, Kansas entered a period of recession, and for three years in a row, receipts to the State General Fund were lower than the year before. The state entered that period with a large balance in the State General Fund which allowed spending to exceed receipts in FY 2008 and in FY 2009. However, by FY 2010 the balance was depleted, and with receipts continuing to decline, the state was forced to make very significant expenditure cuts.

Receipts began increasing again during FY 2011 on the strength of a recovering economy and collections from a temporary one-cent sales tax increase. The State General Fund began FY 2013 with a balance of $466 million. Receipts in FY 2013 are estimated to be $6,175 million, making the total available to spend $6,641 million. The approved expenditure budget for FY 2013 totals $6,171 million, leaving a balance of $470 million to carry over for the start of FY 2014.

State Budget Chronology

The state fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.

  • July/August: Agencies develop budget requests for the fiscal year that begins the following July.
  • September 15: Agencies submit requests to budget office.
  • November: Consensus Revenue Estimate determines available revenue.
  • November/December: Budget office works with the Governor, Governor's staff and agencies to develop a budget to be presented to the Legislature.
  • January: Governor's State of the State speech and proposed budget release.
  • February through April: Legislative hearings to debate changes to the Governor's proposed budget.
  • April: Consensus Revenue Estimate updated.
  • May: Final budget approved by Legislature.

→ Find more information and resources on the Kansas state budget at khi.org/budget.

KHI Topics

Center for Sharing Public Health Services