Kelly, Schmidt clash over development of $969 million state rainy-day reserve fund

Kansas has sufficient cash flow for the first time in more than 20 years to cover day-to-day operating expenses and build a reserve fund. Gov. Kelly and her likely opponent have very different ideas what to do with it.

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State News

July 6, 2022 - 2:44 PM

Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat seeking reelection, and Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a Republican campaigning for governor, praised creation by the state of a nearly $1 billion rainy-day fund but had different views on implications of that development. Photo by (Photos by Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — The state of Kansas had sufficient cash flow for the first time in more than 20 years to avoid borrowing to cover day-to-day operating expenses while simultaneously building a reserve fund in the just-completed fiscal year with a balance of nearly $1 billion.

The State Finance Council, comprised of the governor and legislative leaders, typically issue certificates of indebtedness for hundreds of millions of dollars to cover for inconsistencies in the flow of tax revenue to the state treasury. The certificates are an IOU the state writes to itself and must be repaid on an annual basis.

Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat seeking reelection, said the state closed out the 2022 fiscal year without making use of that borrowing mechanism. It was the first time since 1999 that Kansas lawmakers hadn’t done so, she said.

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