Kansas Officials Worry Budget Worse Than in '03

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Some state officials worry the state budget problems will be harder to solve now than they were in 2003.

When Gov. Kathleen Sebelius took office in January 2003, officials said the state faced its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. A looming shortfall was called ``a billion-dollar problem.''

As their 2009 session approaches, legislators also face a shortfall that, without quick action, could approach $1 billion by the end of June 2010.

And, some officials say, the state can't rely on some of the one-time accounting gimmicks it used in 2003 to make the budget balance in the short-term, to avoid cuts in aid to public schools and some social services.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)