Some Lawmakers May Pursue Cuts During Budget Talks

Jan 21, 2013

Gov. Sam Brownback has proposed more income tax cuts in Kansas over the coming years. And to help pay for that, he wants to make permanent part of a temporary sales tax increase that is set to expire later this year.

He's also suggested eliminating some tax deductions, like the home mortgage deduction. Though, some lawmakers may try to alter that plan.

There is now a conservative majority in both the House and Senate, and some lawmakers may try to find additional cuts to state spending instead of using the sales tax and tax deductions to help pay for an income tax cut.

Speaking with reporters, House Speaker Ray Merrick, a Stillwell Republican, said he’s asked lawmakers in the House to look at cutting as an option.

“Instead of picking off the things that are essential services, lets nibble from the bottom up and get rid of the stuff that we really don’t need,” said Merrick.

But the top Democrat in the House, Paul Davis, from Lawrence, doesn’t believe they can make large cuts without significant hits to things like education, universities and highway funding.

“I welcome that discussion when it comes, because I think that is a point of view that is diametrically opposite to where people in the state are right now,” Davis said.

Kansas is currently projected to face a more than $250 million budget shortfall in the coming fiscal year