Kansas budget

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Gov. Sam Brownback has until Sunday to take action on the Kansas budget approved by lawmakers. His decisions could prompt action on the ceremonial last day of the legislative session.

It’s likely Brownback will sign the budget, but he can block specific items with his line item veto power. Lawmakers also have the power to override those decisions with a two-thirds vote.

Democratic Sen. Anthony Hensley says some line item vetoes could draw override attempts. Those would come on the ceremonial last day of the session, which is Monday.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

It took 113 days instead of the scheduled 100, but Kansas lawmakers finally ended their 2017 session Saturday.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Negotiators from the Kansas House and Senate are meeting Friday to hammer out a budget compromise. There are significant differences in the House and Senate plans when it comes to state employee raises.

The Senate budget gives most state workers a 2 percent raise. The House plan includes fewer raises that are targeted, including pay hikes for the judicial branch.

Republican Rep. Troy Waymaster says some House members are concerned about the cost of the Senate proposal.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

The Kansas House and Senate worked into the night Thursday on a state budget, just two days after voting to scuttle Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax policies amid a projected $900 million shortfall over the next two years.

Negotiators from both chambers launched into evening talks shortly after the House passed a multiyear spending plan that differs from the Senate’s on key points such as pay raises for state employees.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

House and Senate leaders had told Kansas lawmakers to be ready to work over the weekend, but Friday they decided to head home, putting off tax and budget work until next week.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

A panel of Kansas officials has boosted the forecast for the state’s tax collections. They raised the revenue projection by almost $160 million.

That puts a dent in the Kansas budget deficit. After accounting for the new money, the state still faces a shortfall of around $900 million over the coming two fiscal years.

“There certainly remain big challenges for legislators and us between now and when the session ends,” said Shawn Sullivan, Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget director.

However, Sullivan added that "up is better than down."

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas will use $291 million in internal government borrowing to avoid a deficit in its current budget and pay bills on time through June.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed the budget bill into law Tuesday. The measure allows the state to avoid short-term cuts in aid to public schools, social services and other programs.

The state plans to liquidate a special investment fund and loan most of the proceeds to its main bank account to cover general spending before the fiscal year ends on June 30. The loan would be paid back over seven years.

Kansas News Service

Kansas legislators hit adjournment Friday with some big tasks left for their wrap-up session that starts May 1.

At the top of the list is a tax and budget plan, which largely will be influenced by the amount of school funding that legislators decide to add in light of the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling last month. In the health policy arena, Medicaid expansion supporters are regrouping after the governor’s veto — and holding out hope for another shot this session.

Kansas Health Institute/File photo

Kansas lawmakers have wrapped up the first part of the legislative session and will return to the Statehouse in May.

Legislators did manage to send a bill balancing the budget for the fiscal year that ends in June to the governor, but they haven’t finalized tax and budget plans for 2018 and 2019.

Republican Senate President Susan Wagle said she isn’t frustrated by the slow progress.

“It’s expected. Coming to a compromise, an agreement on a tax package is probably the most difficult thing any state legislature would have to do," she said.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

The Kansas Senate has given first-round approval to a proposed spending plan for the next two fiscal years.

It includes raises for many state employees in Kansas, and it would shift money to restore some of the higher education cuts put in place last year. Republican Carolyn McGinn said they increase spending only in some targeted ways.

“The committee did a wonderful job in trying to hold the line. There’s a lot of need out there in our state. We’ve had a number of cuts,” McGinn said.