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Kansas Lawmakers Debate & Finally Pass Budget

IMG 9998-2200 - smallLegislators look up to see the results of the House vote on the budget. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)Kansas lawmakers wrapped up the 2013 session in the early hours of Sunday morning. One of their last actions was to pass a two-year state budget. In the House, some conservative members praised the bill for reducing state spending. House Majority Leader Jene Vickrey (VICK-ree), a Republican from Louisburg, urged House Republicans to support it.

But the budget was also criticized for its cuts to higher education, which officials from the University of Kansas called “devastating.” KU officials said cuts to the KU Medical Center alone would top $8 million. The bill also reduces spending on the Department of Corrections. Republican Ed Bideau (“BEH-dough”), from Chanute, said the corrections department helps ensure public safety.

The budget will leave per-pupil K-12 education funding flat. It also cuts public broadcasting funding by about 40 percent, to $600,000. The bill passed in both the House and Senate with the bare minimum votes needed. No Democrats voted for the budget.

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