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Senate Passes So-Called "Pay-Go" Budget Rule

IMG 9057-2000The new rule will block some budget amendments introduced on the Senate floor. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)The Kansas Senate has passed a new rule that will make it harder to increase spending in budget bills. The rule is known as “pay as you go,” or “pay-go.” It requires any budget amendment added on the Senate floor to be offset with an equal cut in spending. That means once a bill leaves committee, the overall amount of spending can’t be increased. Opponents of the change say it stifles senators, because they can’t add spending to the budget for things their constituents would want. Senator Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat, says it gives all the power to decide the size of the budget to a small number of the chamber’s 40 members.

Senator Ty Masterson, an Andover Republican, says the rule change won’t stifle debate. He says senators will still have options to adjust the total budget spending.

The Kansas House instituted the same rule two years ago.

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