Fiscal issues to drive Kansas lawmakers’ session

Kansas Public Pensions
Alan Conroy, Shawn Sullivan (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) — Kansas lawmakers have a plateful of potentially ugly decisions ahead to close state budget shortfalls.

But some lawmakers and Republican Gov. Sam Brownback have bigger ambitions for the annual legislative session opening Jan. 12.

Senate President Susan Wagle said the budget problems are an opportunity to restructure state government. The Wichita Republican’s list of big projects includes overhauling public school funding and the pension system for teachers and government workers.

Brownback said this month that he’ll have school funding proposals, and two top aides proposed the state study privatizing the pension system. The governor also is pursuing a 50-year water preservation plan.

But such ambitions will play out against the backdrop of the state’s budget problems.

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