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KS House Passes Budget Fix for Current Year

The Kansas House chamber. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

The Kansas House has passed a bill that will eliminate most of a $300 million budget shortfall in the current fiscal year. The legislation mostly relies on diverting funds from other parts of state government, including money from the state highway fund, to close the budget gap.
 
Several Republicans said they were voting “yes” but with reservations. There were calls for revamping tax cuts passed in recent years. Representative Barbara Bollier (bowl-YAY) is from Mission Hills.


“I originally voted ‘no’ on this tax plan that is failing to bring the revenue needed to Kansas. My ‘yes’ vote today recognizes that bills must be paid,” says Bollier.
 
The legislation is moving fast, with the understanding that the state could face a cash crunch by the middle of this month. The Kansas Senate could take up the bill on Thursday.

Smaller-than-expected tax collections in recent months mean the bill will still leave a budget deficit of around $800,000 by the end of the fiscal year.

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(VERSION TWO)
The Kansas House has passed a bill that will eliminate most of a $300 million budget shortfall in the current fiscal year. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, it mainly transfers funding from other areas of state government.

(SCRIPT)
The bill takes money from the state highway fund, children’s program funding and other places to help fill the gap. The bill passed the House on an 88-34 vote, mostly along party lines.

Several Republicans said they had concerns but voted yes so the state could pay its bills on time. Representative Don Hineman was a yes vote, but called for reconsidering tax cuts passed in recent years.

“This bill presents us with terrible choices. It destabilizes vital government programs and it increases the financial burden on future legislatures and the Kansans that they will represent,” says Hineman.

The state could face a cash crunch if the bill isn’t signed into law by later this month. The Senate could take it up as soon as today (THUR).

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