Archive for Wednesday, October 4, 2000

State budget work under way

By Bill Graves

October 4, 2000

As impossible as it may seem, the end of the year and the beginning of the 2001 legislative session are only a few months away. In early January, I will deliver my seventh State of the State address and submit another budget proposal to the Legislature. As always, the budget process will set the tone for debate in the 2001 session.

Budgeting for the state of Kansas is not unlike budgeting for my family or your family. We have limited sources of income and a long list of expenses.

There are things we must pay for, things we should pay for, and things we would like to pay for. There are always a few unexpected expenses we encounter along the way. Members of the state udget familydon always agree on how to allocate budgeted dollars.

The discussions and debates on these budget issues dominate the agenda during the 90-day legislative session.

But the budget process is, in fact, cyclical. It never stops and it demands attention all year.

From now until January, I will be working with state agencies and the Kansas Division of the Budget to prepare my recommendations for next year state spending plan.

You might think it fun to divvy up $8 billion, but it a difficult task. Dozens of state agencies operate thousands of worthy programs providing valuable public services. No matter how we slice the pie, someone could always benefit from a larger piece.

The state of Kansas, like most of our families in today society, benefits from two major sources of income. We receive about equal amounts of funding from state revenue collections and federal sources. I never forget, however, that all of those dollars come to the government from hard-working citizens.

Our spending habits in government are limited by the level of fees and taxes we collect. That as it should be. My family lives on a budget. Your family lives on a budget. The state must live within the budget that affects us all.

These budget issues will challenge us during the next several weeks. State Budget Director Duane Goossen and his staff will be working long hours. I appreciate the effort put forth by my staff during the budget process. I hope Kansas citizens appreciate the thought and planning that goes into the budget that affects us all.

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