Kan. lawmakers backing off some higher ed cuts

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) – Kansas legislators may be rethinking proposed cuts in higher education spending as they try to finish work on budget issues.

House and Senate negotiators reopened talks Thursday on a proposed $14.5 billion state budget for each of the next two fiscal years, starting in July. House members said they want to modify a deal struck nearly two weeks ago.

Budget negotiators had agreed to cut higher education funding 1.5 percent during each of the next two fiscal years. Republican Gov. Sam Brownback wanted no cuts, but both chambers approved cuts of different magnitudes.

Lead House negotiator Marc Rhoades of Newton said fellow Republicans his chamber now want to spare community colleges and technical colleges the 1.5 percent cut during the next fiscal year.

Senators were considering the idea.

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