Kansas Policy Institute releases the Responsible Kansas Budget (RKB)

Wichita, KS – As Kansas lawmakers return to Topeka to start the two-year budget cycle, KPI is asking lawmakers not to burden citizens further during a time when Kansans are already struggling with inflation and an unpredictable economy.

 

The Responsible Kansas Budget is a model to achieve a sustainable budget through tax-and-expenditure limits based on transparency and performance-based budgeting, which will rein in government spending to avoid deficits.

 

Vance Ginn, Ph.D., a senior fellow at KPI and the president of Ginn Economic Consulting, says, “The Responsible Kansas Budget sets the stage for common sense budgeting in Kansas. This plan ensures funding for limited government provisions while the vast majority of taxpayer money remains in the productive private sector.”

 

Last year, Kansas Policy Institute released its first edition of the Responsible Kansas Budget for 2023. The model proposed a limit on All Funds (state funds plus federal funds) appropriations in 2023 at $21.0 billion based on limiting spending increases to the combined rate of population growth and inflation. Instead, the Legislature approved an All Funds budget of $22.9 billion – nearly $2 billion more than the RKB.

 

“While the RKB is determined by previous years of appropriations, it isn’t a justification for that level of spending – and in fact, there was likely waste or things that could have been approved previously,” says Ganon Evans, Policy Analyst for Kansas Policy Institute.

 

This year’s RKB is instead using State Funds for a more detailed look at spending in the direct purview of legislators. From 2005 to 2023, state funds appropriations increased by 138.1%, from $7.2 billion to $17.1 billion, for an average annual increase of 5.2%.

 

“Efficiency is something legislators need to prioritize. Potential is everywhere in government to reduce costs while still providing the same service. Legislators have the power to control taxing and spending during a time when Kansans are hurting from high inflation. A more responsible budget can help Kansans keep more of what they earn,” says Evans.

 

“If the state legislature appropriately adheres to this maximum appropriations limit with a focus on appropriating taxpayer money well below this maximum, there will be corrections to past spending excesses and support of ample paths to more economic growth, job creation, and opportunities to let people prosper,” remarks Ginn.

 

The 2024 Responsible Kansas Budget (RKB) sets a maximum threshold on the State Funds budget based on the rate of population growth and inflation during the prior year before a legislative session.

The 2024 Responsible Kansas Budget

 

“If the state legislature appropriately adheres to this maximum appropriations limit with a focus on appropriating taxpayer money well below this maximum, there will be corrections to past spending excesses and support of ample paths to more economic growth, job creation, and opportunities to let people prosper,” remarks Ginn.