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Kan. Court Efficiency Group Looks At How To Fill Budget Gap

The Kansas court system is facing a multi-million dollar deficit next fiscal year. An advisory group formed to help bridge that gap is meeting for the first time Monday in Topeka.

Lawmakers passed a two-year budget for the state, and the problems with the court system come into play in the second year. The head of the efficiency group, Appeals Court Judge Karen Arnold-Burger, says lawmakers used reserves and some other steps to fill a court budget deficit in the current fiscal year. But now those reserves are gone, so that leads to the deficit for the courts in the coming fiscal year.

Judge Arnold-Burger says she hopes lawmakers will fix the issue, but the court needs to have a contingency plan.

"I think this is just responsible fiscal planning, to try to have a plan in place, in case the Legislature does not, or is not able to make up that deficit,” says Arnold-Bunger.

Senate Vice President Jeff King said in a letter to the group that he’s confident the Legislature will look into the funding issue.

As the Kansas News Service managing editor, I help our statewide team of reporters find the important issues and breaking news that impact people statewide. We refine our daily stories to illustrate the issues and events that affect the health, well-being and economic stability of the people of Kansas. Email me at skoranda@kcur.org.
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