Kansas budget

Stephen Koranda

Kansas House and Senate negotiators have reached a compromise to balance the current year’s budget without cuts to state services. They have been facing a shortfall for the budget year ending in June of nearly $300 million.

The budget agreement would delay a payment into the Kansas pension plan, KPERS. It would also borrow some money from a state investment fund.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

The Kansas Senate is likely to debate a budget proposal this week, and House lawmakers could also make progress on their spending plan. But there’s one hitch: Both budgets are unbalanced.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

The Kansas Senate has approved a budget-balancing plan for the current fiscal year that avoids cuts to state services. The 27-13 vote advances the bill to negotiations between the House and Senate.

Senators spent much of the debate considering whether they should use cuts to help close a nearly $300 million budget gap. They eventually rejected three proposals to make spending cuts.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas legislators advanced a new budget-balancing plan Tuesday aimed at allowing the state to pay its bills through June without cutting spending on public schools while it waits for new revenue from raising taxes to flow.

The state Senate Ways and Means Committee unanimously endorsed a bill to authorize internal government borrowing and temporarily short contributions to public employees' pensions to cover a gap in its current budget, for the fiscal year ending June 30. The full Senate expects to debate the bill Thursday.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

The top Democrat in the Kansas Senate says he believes lawmakers are off-track and haven’t made enough progress on big issues facing the state. Legislators have been in session almost 40 days, and Sen. Anthony Hensley says they haven’t done enough to erase a budget deficit and write a new school funding system.

“The Legislature over the years has wasted time, but I’ve never seen anything like this when we have such significant issues on the table that we have to deal with,” Hensley says.

Stephen Koranda

The Kansas Senate voted almost unanimously Tuesday to kill Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax proposal. The 37-1 vote sends a message to the governor: Senate leaders want new tax and budget options.

Recently, leaders in the Kansas Senate have been frustrated with the governor’s proposal, which relies largely on increasing business filing fees and taxes on tobacco and alcohol.

Senate President Susan Wagle says she doesn’t like the plan because she says it won’t put the state on solid financial ground. She accuses the governor of not taking the state’s budget deficit seriously.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Editor's note: This post was updated at 5:18 p.m.

Kansas tax receipts came in about $37 million above estimates in February, chipping away at the state’s budget deficit.

The Kansas Budget Office on Wednesday reported about $331.5 million in tax receipts for the month, which was about 13 percent higher than projected revenue. Tax revenues were up about 9 percent compared to February 2016.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Editor's note: This post was updated at 4:34 p.m.

The Kansas Senate failed Wednesday to override Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of a bill that would have rolled back big portions of his signature 2012 tax cuts. 

Lawmakers voted 24-16 against the effort to overturn the veto. Supporters were three votes short of the two-thirds majority of 27 votes needed in the 40-member chamber. The vote came hours after legislators in the House had voted, by a narrow margin, to override the veto.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Updated Wednesday at 9:18 a.m.  

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback held a ceremony Wednesday morning to veto a bill that would roll back personal income tax cuts he's championed. (Almost immediately, House lawmakers voted 85-40 to override the veto; the matter now goes to the Kansas Senate.) Brownback had called the bipartisan measure for fixing the state's persistent budget problems "an assault on the pocketbooks of the middle class."

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Members of the Kansas House took a step Wednesday towards repealing parts of the 2012 tax cuts championed by Gov. Sam Brownback. The governor quickly responded, saying he would not sign the bill into law.

The House gave preliminary approval to the tax increase with a vote of 83 to 39, one vote shy of the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto from the governor.

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