No wonder Gov. Sam Brownback didn’t show up Thursday to announce how he wanted to balance the shaky Kansas budget.
Instead, he made budget director Shawn Sullivan attend a news conference and reveal that the state will accept nearly $18 million in federal funds for a program that provides health care for children.
That’s right: Washington is coming to the rescue of a governor who’s made his disdain for some federal programs part of his ultra-conservative shtick.
Brownback, who reportedly was in Wichita on Thursday, helped cause the budget woes by promoting excessive income tax cuts in 2012. They have slashed hundreds of millions in revenues without bringing in the promised growth in jobs. Instead of changing course, the governor this year backed the largest tax increase in state history.
Then came Thursday’s news conference, and a new proposal to change a total of $63 million in state spending to try to make ends meet.
Among the other large changes Sullivan announced was another drain of funds from the transportation department, which will have $8 million less to spend in the future.
More budget cuts could be ahead if Kansas revenues don’t meet expectations — as happened in both the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years. That’s not an encouraging track record.