Kansas budget fix requires tax, spending, school aid bills

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas lawmakers will push next week toward solving a complicated puzzle to fix the state’s serious budget problems.

They’re trying to decide how much to increase taxes without being certain about how much they’ll spend on public schools or government programs.

Lawmakers hope to make progress toward closing projected budget shortfalls totaling more than $1 billion through June 2019. They expect to increase income taxes but are still debating exactly who would have to pay higher rates.

Lawmakers are struggling with the size of the tax hike because they’re still working on spending plans. And they can’t finish those blueprints until they agree on how much they must increase aid to schools to satisfy a Kansas Supreme Court decision last month.

The pieces must fit together by July.