The 2016 legislative session ended early Monday morning with the passage of a bill aimed at balancing the state’s budget. Lawmakers worked through the night to close a $290 million budget shortfall and fund the state until the middle of next year. The plan transfers millions of dollars from the state's highway fund and cuts funding to state universities and other state agencies. Not everyone was happy with the final results. Republican Representative Stephanie Clayton of Johnson County, was one of several Republicans who did not support the plan.
But House Speaker Ray Merrick, a Republican from Stillwell, says he believes the legislature did the best they could with the choices that Governor Sam Brownback gave them.
The budget package has now gone to Governor Brownback who will have to make the final decisions on where to make the funding cuts. He needs to trim approximately three percent from almost every area of state spending except for K-12 education.