The chairman of the House Tax Committee believes lawmakers will need to rely mostly on taxes to fill a hole in the Kansas budget. The state faces a $400 million shortfall next fiscal year. Republican Representative Marvin Kleeb says they’re hoping to avoid cuts to K-12 education, which accounts for half the state budget.
“I don’t think there’s a tremendous amount of expenditure improvement that can happen. We held schools harmless and I think a lot of us feel we made a promise to schools to keep that block grant funding stable for the next two years,” says Kleeb.
Kansas lawmakers are close to the end of their annual spring break and plan to reconvene this week at the Statehouse to wrap up their business for the year. KMUW’s Deborah Shaar reports.
The State House and Senate are scheduled to be back in session Wednesday.
Lawmakers must balance the next state budget, and their research staff says they must close a $422 million shortfall for the fiscal year beginning July 1. But they have a full plate of other issues as well.
Wednesday would be the 73rd day of their annual session, out of the scheduled 90.
Governor Sam Brownback has presented lawmakers with an amended budget plan following the release of sharply lowered estimates for Kansas tax collections. The proposal would save around $100 million over the next two years, which only puts a dent in a budget shortfall of around $400 million. Stephen Koranda reports.
The proposal uses cost savings from the Medicaid program and from cheaper than expected debt payments. It also increases a fee paid by Kansas health care providers. Shawn Sullivan is Governor Brownback’s budget director.
The City of Wichita officially has a new mayor. Jeff Longwell was sworn in at Tuesday’s Wichita City Council meeting after soundly defeating advertising executive Sam Williams in the April 7 elections. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur has more…
It was an emotional day at City Hall, where Carl Brewer, reaching his term limit, stepped down after eight years as Wichita’s mayor.
“Thank you, everyone, for allowing me to serve you,” Brewer said to applause.