Top Kansas lawmaker presses governor to resolve budget issue

Gov. Sam Brownback (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Senate’s top Republican says she and other lawmakers suspect Gov. Sam Brownback isn’t proposing a long-term fix for the state’s budget problems because he’s focused on getting a job in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration.

Senate President Susan Wagle of Wichita and other lawmakers have grown frustrated by Brownback’s decision to wait until January to remedy a $350 million budget shortfall for the current fiscal year.

Wagle told reporters Monday that legislators “are very concerned the governor is looking for a ticket to D.C.”

In the fiscal year that begins July 1, the state’s shortfall is expected to exceed $580 million.

Lawmakers begin work in January. Brownback’s office said Monday he will announce a plan to balance the budget then, but would consider proposals from Wagle or others beforehand.