Kansas Sen. Garrett Love thinks the chances are strong the proposal to pay counties $7.5 million will survive the legislative process.
"It's never been easy, it's always a fight, always takes work to keep people from taking that money out of the area. Though I am confident and optimistic we'll be able to get this through the Legislature at the end of the day." – Sen. Garrett Love, R-Montezuma, on the chances Gov. Sam Brownback's $7.5 million offering to oil producing counties will survive the legislative process.
Fifty-two counties joined a lawsuit against the state in October over fiscal year 2013 payments to the Oil and Gas Depletion Trust Fund. A group of legislators, many from the southwest part of the state, and Brownback came to an agreement to meet the counties' demands this week.
The statutorily-limited trust fund payments are commonly eyed by eastern state legislators to fill other budget concerns, Love said. He said is committed to preserving the program which was designed to limit the volatility of county property taxes if oil and gas severance tax revenues sharply decline.
Authorization for the payment will likely be made in the form of a supplemental budget for the 2014 fiscal year, which ends on June 30. Ford County was expecting about $150,000 more than was disbursed by the state in October.
For earlier coverage, see: Nov. 6, Ford County joins suit against state over oil and gas trust fund