Kan. 2014 Budget In Flux As Lawmakers Adjourn
Kansas legislators are on a month-long break, having left behind a budget still considered a work in progress and more possible changes to the state tax code.
Lawmakers adjourned late Friday having approved several issues after more than a week of negotiations. But many of the spending cuts favored by the majority of Republicans remain in play.
One area is higher education. The Senate is recommending a 4 percent cut for state universities and community colleges. The House favors a 2 percent cut.
Taxes will also be a hot issue when lawmakers return to the Statehouse. Gov. Brownback wants to keep the state's sales tax at 6.3 percent, instead of letting it drop to 5.7 percent in July.
The Senate plan largely mirrors the governor's proposal, but the House has voted to let the sales tax increase expire. The House plan also would make other tax adjustments with an eye toward future cuts in income tax rates if overall tax collections grow.
The Legislature returns to work May 8. Republican leaders say the budget picture will come into focus before then, with the release of a new estimate of state revenue.
That report also will help settle the debate on further cuts in Kansas income taxes.