Kansas is facing a projected 8.1% shortfall in its next state budget after a new fiscal forecast slashed projections for expected tax collections over the next 15 months by nearly $1.37 billion to reflect the economic damage associated with COVID-19. Governor Laura Kelly has directed state agencies to avoid filling open positions not essential to dealing with coronavirus and to eliminate discretionary spending. But those steps aren’t seen as enough going to be enough to put the state back in the black for the 2021 budget year that begins in July. The Kansas Constitution prohibits a deficit, so the state would have to make adjustments.