Wednesday, Gov. Sam Brownback signed the budget he was provided by the Legislature while announcing $97 million in cuts to spending that the Legislature left up to him to make. 

Most of the money cut will come out of KanCare, which accounts for about 20 percent of the state's general fund budget. The largest single cut is nearly $40 million out of the Kansas Department of Health & Environment with the next highest cut being $17.5 million out of the Department for Aging & Disability Services, these are the two agencies responsible for administering Medicaid. These cuts will also result in a loss of around $72 million in federal funding because the federal government provides $1.28 for every $1 the state spends on Medicaid. 

In response to these cuts, the Kansas Hospital Association released a statement claiming these cuts will threaten access to care. 

"Health care providers have been good partners regarding KanCare, in spite of the fact that the program pays them less than the cost of providing care; in spite of growing financial pressure facing those providers; and in spite of increasing evidence that KanCare isn't working as promised," the statement reads. "The Governor's announcement will undoubtedly make some providers question whether they can continue to participate under such circumstances. Ultimately, and most importantly, that will threaten access to care in Kansas." 

The statement goes on to note that in Kansas the health care sector is the fourth largest employer and generates approximately $1.5 billion in state and local tax revenue annually. The Kansas Industry and Occupational Outlook puts health care among the top 10 job creators, showing more job growth than any other industry in the state. 

Higher education feels a large brunt of the cuts as well, with more than $30 million in all being cut. The University of Kansas and the University of Kansas Medical Center will lose more than $10 million between the two of them, Kansas State University and the KSU Veterinary Medical Center will lose just under $6 million. The Board of Regents is being cut by about $7 million. Even smaller schools are getting large cuts. 

With Pittsburg State University losing a little over $1 million in funding from the state, University President Dr. Steve Scott announced that for the first time students are actually funding more of their education at Pittsburg State than the state is.

KU spokesman Tim Caboni told the Lawrence Journal-World that, "given the magnitude of the $10.7 million reduction to KU, we will need a few days to carefully analyze its effects, which will be significant." 

In general, most state agencies will see a 4 percent reduction moving forward. The Department of Corrections, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the Kansas Highway Patrol and state hospitals, as well as K-12 education are all exempt from cuts under the budget. 

The governor's office did state that if the Kansas Supreme Court determines that the state is not adequately funding education that it could require the state to spend an additional $40 million on schools, which could result in additional cuts to Medicaid and higher education. 

"The three main drivers of budget growth continue to be education, Medicaid and KPERS. We are working to slow the growth of government spending and our projected FY2017 expenditures are less than FY2015 actuals," the governor said in a statement. "Kansans cannot afford the explosive growth of state government spending that has occurred in the past."

The cuts should result in a surplus of about $87 million at the end of the fiscal year. There has been no suggestion from the Brownback administration that any changes will be considered in regards to the income tax cuts and LLC income tax exemptions that many in the state feel have directly resulted in the several years' worth of unbalanced budgets Kansas has dealt with since their passage.

Per capita, Kansas spends approximately $5,070 with the state budget, putting the state as the 35th lowest per capita expenditure. Colorado, Oklahoma, and Nebraska all spend over $5,500 per capita, but Missouri spends only $3,822 per capita.