Kansas lawmakers want to tackle budget in the red by $200 million

TOPEKA, Kansas – Kansas lawmakers say they have doubts about how they will find up to $200 million in the near future, but they will get to work on Monday to find a solution.

“We don’t believe that the governor’s budget is going to be effective,” says Senator Michael O’Donnell, R-Wichita. “We don’t believe that his budget is going to be able to pass because there’s not enough money left in it. Because (Governor’s budget proposal) he’s saying that we can do all of these functions that are in the two-year budget, but we can do all of them without making any cuts. And, without new revenue enhancements.”

O’Donnell is on the Senate budget committee, that is expected to get to work on Monday looking at finding a way to fix the budget.

Last year, lawmakers were in Topeka a record-setting 113 days as they looked for hundreds of millions to fix the budget hole last year.

This year, they hope to get a budget done by the end of February, ahead of the end of the session.

Some lawmakers remain skeptical.

“The governor’s budget is nothing more than smoke & mirrors based primarily on borrowed money,” says Representative Jim Ward, D-Wichita. “I am not optimistic there will be meaningful discussion in Legislature next week or next month.”

Governor Sam Brownback had his budget director, Shawn Sullivan, unveil a budget proposal that moves some monies around. It also calls for finding efficiency to lessen Government costs in Kansas.

Sullivan told KSN this weekend, “We continue to work with legislators on a number of options.”

 

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