State budget in Kansas looks uglier than most

The recession has done a number on state budgets across the country. In Topeka, the balance sheet looks especially tattered.

A report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities indicates that the gap in the Kansas budget is proportionally larger than the budget holes that confront surrounding states. Kansas’ shortfall, priced at $1.8 billion, represents 30 percent of the state’s general fund. For comparison, Missouri’s shortfall is 16.4 percent.

Kansas lawmakers have responded to the budget crisis by cutting an array of programs, including Medicaid. A story in Thursday’s New York Times quoted a Wichita ophthalmologist who stopped treating Medicaid patients because of the cuts in payments he was receiving. “I’m out, I’m done,” the eye doctor, C. Joseph Beck, told the Times

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