Legislators Putting Kansas' Bond Rating In Jeopardy, Brownback Warns

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Officials in Gov. Sam Brownback's administration say Kansas' bond ratings would likely be downgraded if the Legislature does not balance the state's budget with tax increases.

Secretary of Administration Jim Clark told a joint meeting of Republican legislators Thursday that rating agencies would likely act because of budget uncertainty.

Bond ratings determine how much the state must pay in interest on its debt.

The state has been working to issue $1 billion in bonds to add funds to its pension system and boost its earnings. Clark said a downgrade could increase the state's interest costs by $50 million a year.

Legislators have passed a $15.4 billion budget, but it requires about $400 million in tax increases to balance.

The budget problems arose after lawmakers slashed income taxes at Brownback's urging.